Paul Aussaresses, 95, Who Tortured Algerians, Dies

tags: obituaries, France, Algerian War




Gen. Paul Aussaresses, who stunned France in 2000 when he asserted that he coldbloodedly tortured and summarily executed dozens of prisoners during his country’s brutal colonial war in Algeria decades earlier, died Tuesday in La Vancelle, France. He was 95.

His death was announced on the website of a veterans’ group, Who Dares Wins.

Algeria’s fight from 1954 to 1962 to break free of French colonial rule was a complex conflict characterized by urban guerrilla warfare, terrorism and, on both sides, torture. During the conflict France denied that it tortured, and it censored newspapers, books and movies that said that it did. Afterward, official secrecy, propaganda and a general distaste for the subject kept discussion of French atrocities muted.

Then, in December 2000, General Aussaresses, one of France’s top officers in Algeria, gave an interview to Le Monde in which he said that torture had been routine and condoned by the French leadership as the fastest way to get information about guerrilla activities....



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