” I arrived yesterday […]. I came to support my brothers. They gave me a lesson in solidarity, courage and strength”.
These beautiful words which, in retrospect, take on an overwhelming resonance, were the last uttered in front of the camera by Djamel Bensmaïl, before he was horribly crucified, in Larbaâ Nath Irathen, by a hysterical crowd thirsty for revenge. A crowd turned into a savage pack.
These were the last words of a solar being, from which only radiant and positive waves emanated, before those, heartbreaking, emitted by the martyr of human barbarism that he became, trapped in a police van where , until the last moment of his long ordeal, with extraordinary courage and great dignity, he proclaimed his innocence in the face of his executioners.
Let’s remember, it was August 11, 2021, the absolute, unspeakable horror, occurred in the wilaya of Tizi Ouzou which was in the grip of flames. Djamel Bensmaïl, listening only to what his conscience dictated to him, had hastened to leave Miliana to fly to the aid of Kabylia ravaged by gigantic and deadly fires. This beautiful soul experienced a terrible fate, of an unspeakable cruelty, which terrified Algeria and the rest of the world.
In November 2022, its 102 assassins of the worst kind, including a dozen women, appeared before the Algerian courts. The criminal court of first instance of Dar El Beïda (Algiers) pronounced in particular 49 death sentences.
The defendants were prosecuted, among other things, for “wilful homicide with premeditation”, “complicity in voluntary homicide” and “torture, mutilation and immolation of a corpse”, as well as “belonging to a terrorist organization with the aim of committing terrorist acts” and “arson having led to the death of several people”.
On this Friday, August 11, 2023, we are rebroadcasting the vibrant tribute we paid to the artist Djamel Bensmaïl, who died as Chahid on the altar of dark designs.
To never forget and proclaim loud and clear: Never again in Algeria!
It was during a disastrous Wednesday, August 11, the martyrdom suffered by Djamel Bensmaïl, appalling beyond words, never ceases to haunt consciences. His memory becomes more significant, more obsessive, more traumatic every day.
Under a sky darkened by the darkness of barbarism, it is a beautiful soul that was, that day, tortured beyond horror at Larbaâ Nath Irathen. He is a talented, generous and endearing artist who was savagely murdered, he is a marvelous being, viscerally humanist, who was snatched from his family with unspeakable cruelty, but also from Algeria, united solidarity, for which he harbored great hopes.
He is a young 34-year-old Algerian, full of vitality and steeped in kindness, who was horribly crucified, even though he had rushed from Miliana to lend assistance to a Kabylie ravaged by flames, so dear to his heart, his guitar and his acute sense of mutual aid slung over his shoulder.
A Kabylia with which this musician, affectionately nicknamed “Jimmy” by his relatives, who particularly appreciated the Arab-Andalusian sounds, had forged warm and close ties. A Kabylia, whose nature enthusiast he was never tired of contemplating the beauty of the landscapes, to the point of often bivouacking in Akfadou.
Artist with more than one string to his bow, guitarist, songwriter and painter at the same time, the late Djamel Bensmaïl had the commitment pegged to the body. He was on all fronts, his hand always outstretched towards the most vulnerable, towards the most deprived, towards his brothers and sisters in God and in humanity whom the vicissitudes of existence and the tumults of the world had not spared.
This awakener of consciences called, with the same ardor, to show solidarity towards the refugees of the countries of the Sahel as towards the disaster-stricken and heavily bereaved region of Kabylie. Passionate about justice and democracy, he worked in favor of political renewal in Algeria, to which he aspired so much, but also in favor of the democratization of art, at home, in Miliana. He was also a member of the Association of Friends of Miliana for Culture and Art, an initiative aimed at bringing art to the streets of the city.
Now erected as a martyr, Djamel Bensmaïl, this desperately lonely man, hunted down, trapped and abandoned by everyone in a police van where he was thrown as food to the barbarians, but remained standing in front of them, his body and face swollen under torture. , leaves behind a luminous trail, which shines and will shine for a long time through the darkest darkness.
Farewell Artist, rest in peace. Allah y rahmu
The poignant inauguration of his giant portrait in Miliana, in the presence of his crying father and the deeply affected artist Mekky Dfs, author of the mural.