Keyword: October 17th 1961

After decades of denial, France recognises 1961 police massacre of Algerians in Paris

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French President François Hollande has ended more than 50 years of official silence over the massacre by Paris police of an estimated several hundred Algerians demonstrating for their country’s independence from France. “On October 17th 1961, Algerians demonstrating for the right to independence were killed during a bloody repression,” read a brief statement by Hollande. “France recognizes these events with lucidity. Fifty one years after this tragedy, I pay homage to the memory of the victims.” It was the first public recognition by a French president of the killings and was hailed by campaigners and historians who had lobbied for decades for France to assume what was the deadliest act of repression on its own soil since World War II. Lénaïg Bredoux reports.

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October 17, 1961: the night Paris police turned mass murderers

This Monday marks the macabre anniversary of one night of events that have largely been written out of official French history. On October 17th 1961, hundreds of Algerian pro-independence demonstrators were attacked and murdered by Paris police, most of them thrown into the river Seine. Official records report only two people died. The day will be marked by a series of demonstrations around France, calling for the formal recognition of the massacre that has remained smothered by cynicism, and latterly indifference, for half a century. Patricia Brett reports on the background and details of that sinister, cold autumn evening.