23 feb 2010


Organisation armée secrète

OAS — or Organisation armée secrète,

("Organization of the Secret Army")

was a short-lived french far-right nationalist militant and underground organization during the Algerian War (1954-62). The members of a French army secret organization, the OAS believed de Gaulle had betrayed France

by yielding Algeria to the Algerian Nationalists.

The OAS's motto was "L’Algérie est française et le restera"

("Algeria is French and will remain so")

1962: Ex-general escapes death sentence

A military court in Paris has sentenced the leader of the extremist Secret Army Organisation (OAS)

to life imprisonment.

It was widely expected he would receive the death penalty for leading an organisation violently opposed to Algerian independence that has carried out acts of terrorism in France in the last few years.The panel of nine judges at the Palais de Justice had found him guilty of five capital charges, including planning the failed coup in Algiers in April last year. But to everyone's amazement, the presiding judge announced there were "extenuating circumstances" surrounding the case.

After his arrest OAS collapsed.

A political cartoon by Jacques Kamb in the newspaper l’Humanité. The caption reads,

“And like that, you believe that they are going to take us for sans-culottes?”

Plan to kill French president

The "extenuating circumstances" that saved Salan's life have not been made public. But the court must have taken on board the pleas made by Salan's lawyer, M Tixier-Vignacour. He had painted a picture of a French patriot and respected general fighting for French interests in Algeria.

Since its creation in 1961, the OAS has embarked on a campaign of terrorism in Algeria and France including the attempted assassination in September 1961 of the French President, Charles de Gaulle. Only three days ago French police said they had foiled another attempt on General de Gaulle's life when they arrested 16 members of the OAS. Nevertheless, the organisation's activities failed to stop President de Gaulle agreeing a ceasefire with nationalists represented by the Algerian Front de Liberation Nationale (FLN) in March.

This follows a bitter war between the FLN and the French Army that resulted in the collapse of the French government in 1958 and the return of de Gaulle as head of state.

Carmen Villani as Andrea in "Ecco lingua d'argento"

by Mauro Ivaldi in 1976

16 feb 2010

George Cordova
Executed by Lethal Injection
February 10th 1999

Excerpt of Roy's letter, # 999245, death row prisoner,

Correctional Center of Ellis Unit One,

Huntsville, Texas, USA, to Isabelle, Swiss penfriend, on January 4, 1999

The sun has not yet risen on the prison of Ellis Unit and its death row.
All is calm, the prisoners are sleeping.

Even so,
voices can be heard in two cells,
a quiet conversation between two men.
( Then suddenly,
from the back of one of those long cages of 1.5m x 2.7m
a man burst into tears,
the desperate sobs of an anguished man.

In the next-door cell,
A man is sitting,
listening to his friend near the heating ventilation.

He is opening his heart to the infinite wave of emotions
which overwhelms his companion of suffering.

Their cells are disposed in such a way that they cannot see each other,
one way of communicating is the heating ventilation system.

So, after years of silence, of withdrawal into oneself
for fear of critical judgements,
one of these men got overwhelmed by a wave of emotions he cannot control.
He must talk to someone.
He cries his anguish,
he tells his deepest fears:
the days go by and slowly the 1Oth of February inches closer:

this day is his date *

Distressing, cruel and intolerable vision
of two men whose lives run at a parallel at times.
Both know what suffering is about

Yet, walls and bars isolate them
preventing the little human contact they could wish to have
in those terrible moments of reprieve between
life (life, really ?) and death,

their death planned in cold-blood,
legalized by
an archaic and inhuman system.

* Jorge Cordova was executed on February 1Oth, 1999

Copyrights Lifespark Case postale 4002 Bale / 05/03/99