How we found a lost French army torture farm hidden in Algiers
By Malika Rahal and Fabrice Riceputi
French historians Malika Rahal and Fabrice Riceputi are specialised in researching the events of the 1954-1962 Algerian war of independence, and notably the kidnaps, detention, torture and disappearances of pro-independence militants at the hands of the French army. They lead a project to trace the fate of thousands of people who disappeared during the 1957 Battle of Algiers, when France’s military led a bloody, months-long campaign to dislodge independence fighters and sympathisers in the French colony’s capital. When in Algiers late last year to continue their research, the historians made the chance and revealing discovery of the site of a former colonial farm used by the military to torture and kill detainees. This is their story.