Troubador Algeria: Struggle for Truth and Justice

Released: 28/09/2020

eISBN: 9781800467224

Format: eBook

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Algeria: Struggle for Truth and Justice

A Personal View of 50 Years of Military Rule


Bodies lying in pools of blood in the streets of Algiers all day, buildings destroyed by bombs and fire, up to a million French and others fleeing the country... 

Roger Goldsmith arrived in Algeria six months before a joyful Algerian independence from France, followed by a violent Algerian military takeover and two military coups. In his personal account, Algeria: Struggle for Truth and Justice, he follows French and French Algerian sources that argue that le pouvoir, generals of the security forces, the DRS, manipulating armed Islamists, were behind the assassination of a president, the hijacking of a plane, some 200,000 deaths, torture and perhaps 18,000 enforced disappearances in the 1990s.

The tragedy of the 1990s has been presented as a ‘national tragedy’ with nobody responsible for crimes against humanity. Voluntary work for Amnesty International on the human rights situation there led Roger to work on behalf of families of the disappeared. Later, he assisted Nassera Dutour, who has been leading and inspiring families in 20 years of struggle, vainly seeking information about their relatives.

Is Algeria now at a turning point in its history? Since February 2019, hundreds of thousands of people,  perhaps millions, many of them young, have marched peaceably in the streets of Algiers and throughout the country demanding change, democracy and an end to military rule. Might it now be possible for families to look forward to the day when their efforts to obtain truth and justice are successful and those responsible are tried before an International Criminal Court?’.

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Roger Goldsmith

I am married with two sons. I worked as a geologist in mountains and in the Sahara Desert of Libya (1956-60), in the Amazon rain forest of Bolivia (1961), in Algeria and France (1962-5), The Netherlands (1965-6), Trinidad (1966-69) and Nigeria (1969-73). From 1973 I worked at an international consultancy (including work on Algeria) based in North Wales and from 1989 until 1992 in Peru and Indonesia.

I carried out voluntary work for Oxfam and other overseas NGOs from 1989 and for Amnesty International on Algeria from 1994 until 2004. I continued voluntary work for an Algerian mother whose son had ‘disappeared’ and who had persuaded other Algerian mothers and families to bring the loss of their disappeared relatives to international attention.

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