Youssef Sebti

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Date: 1993

Region:Africa

Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion, Religion

Medium: Literature, Print Journalism


Artist: The Algerian writer and poet Youssef Sebti

Confronting Bodies: Islamist activists in Algeria

Dates of Action: 1993

Location: el-Harrach, a suburb in Algeria

Description of Artwork: Youssef Sebti was a sociologist and bilingual writer. He was the author of several collections of poetry and published cultural chronicles, in particular in the weekly magazine Algeria Topicality and was an outspoken critic of Islamic extremists. In Sebti’s writings he argued that totalitarianism under any guise, religious or military, is the ultimate evil.

The Incident: Youssef Sebti was killed because he would not censor his writing despite the threats made by Islamic extremists.

Results of Incident: Youssef Sebti was killed by Islamic extremists for his political and social views. Sebti was one of many intellectuals, journalists and Algerian academics assassinated in attacks by the Algerian Islamic activists in 1993. Sadly, 1993 was a very bloody year for writers, journalists, academics, and artists in Algeria. The victims, most of them murdered by Islamist activists, include Ruptures magazine writer and editor Taher Djaout; sociologist Djilali Liabhs; Beaux-Arts [College] head Ahmed Asselah; sociologist M’hamed Boukhobza; Bab-Ezzouar University head Salah Djebaoli; poet and writer Youssef Sebti; playwright and stage director Abdelkader Alloula; psychiatrist Mahfoudh Boucebci, national education superintendent Salah Chouaki; playwright Izzedine Medjoubi; pediatrician Dilalli Belkhanchir; economist Abderahmane Faredeheb; and journalists Ferhat Cherkit, Youssef Fathallah, Lamine Lagoui, Ziane Farrah, Abdelhamid Benmenni, Rabah Zenati, Saad Bakhtaoui, and Abderrahmane Chergou…, and the list is far from complete…

Source: Democracy Frontline blog