Committee To Study Proposed Law On The Transfer Of Martyrs’ Skulls From France To Algeria
The French National Assembly intends to form a special committee to study the proposal for a law on the transfer of martyrs’ skulls from France to Algeria, submitted by a group of French deputies estimated at seventy.
The French deputy, Carlos Martinez Bilongo, confirmed in a statement to “Echorouk” that the committee in question will carry out all the procedures for studying the project proposal, with the aim of presenting it for public discussion this month and for approval by the parliamentary majority.
The French representative, who is the initiator of the project, said that he and his fellow signatories of the draft law were trying to win over the largest number of deputies in the French National Assembly before the date of its presentation for discussion, in order to ensure its passage and enable Algeria to recover the remains of its citizens, as he put it.
Carlos Martinez Bilongo added that seeking the support of a majority of deputies in parliament for the draft would be tantamount to official recognition by the French legislature of France’s colonial practice of torturing Algerians during the somber colonial period.
According to the document of the French National Assembly, the bill was registered with the secretariat of the French National Assembly on 22 November 2022 under number 398. It will be referred to the Committee on Culture and Education if a special committee is not set up within the time limits laid down in articles 30 and 31 of the Statute.
The document states that the aim of the project is to enable the immediate recovery of the Martyrs’ skulls, which are currently kept in the National Museum of Natural History, the Museum of Humanity, for humanitarian reasons on the one hand, and because these skulls represent the worst periods of colonialism by the French state and represent a stigma, and that keeping them is disturbing for a country like France, which defends “human freedom and dignity, and therefore keeping the remains is inappropriate because it embodies the celebration of victory over an opponent whose dignity has been desecrated even in death”, according to the source.
The French deputies explained that one of the motives of the law was that these skulls were in fact merely a manifestation of a practice of desecration of the dead and barbarism, protected by pseudo-scientific arguments, whose sole purpose was to ensure the total destruction and humiliation of the defeated opponent.
In cultural terms, “the dignity of the people whose remains have been degraded in this way must be restored without delay or procedural conditions. Any delay in handing over the Martyrs’ skulls is nothing less than an inappropriate act on the part of the French state”.
The deputies said that the definitive return of these skulls to their country of origin will have the advantage of giving them a decent burial, and therefore the handing over of the skulls will be justified in terms of working with the principle of human dignity and morality, and it will be part of the process of recognition of France’s deplorable practices towards its former colonies, and it will enter in the framework of ceasefire operations to the memory file.