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Lawyer Active in Algerian Human Rights Movement Killed

April 9, 1987

PARIS (AP) _ A lawyer active in Algeria’s human rights movement was shot to death as he returned to his Left Bank apartment, police said Wednesday.

Ali Mecili was killed by three gunshots in the foyer of his apartment building on the Boulevard Saint Michel about 10:40 p.m. Tuesday, authorities said.

Ali Mecili was released from an Algerian prison in 1964 and moved to France, where he studied law and became a French citizen.

Ait Ahmed, a friend of Mecili’s and one of the leaders of the fight for Algeria’s independence from France in the 1950s, accused Algeria of responsibility for the slaying. The Algerian ambassador to Paris said the charge should not be dignified by comment.

Ahmed said in a radio interview: ″To me, there is no doubt, the Algerian government has gotten rid of him (Mecili).″ He called Mecili a central figure in pushing for human rights and democracy in Algeria.

Algerian Ambassador Abdel Hamid Mehri said in a statement to the French news agency Agence France Presse that the killing was an ″unhappy affair″ but deplored that it had become the ″pretext for a campaign tending to accredit the idea that Algeria is implicated in this affair.″

He declined many media requests for comment saying he would not ″justify this campaign, by nourishing it.″

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