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Boupacha, Djamila (1942–)

Boupacha, Djamila (1942–)

Algerian nationalist heroine. Name variations: Djamilah or Jamila. Born in Algeria in 1942; married.

During Algerian war of independence, joined the National Liberation Front (FLN, 1954); arrested, was accused of having bombed the Brasserie des Facultés, a café near the University of Algiers (1961); because she refused to confess to the charges, was beaten, subjected to electric shocks, and raped with an empty bottle; incensed by the nature of the atrocities committed against her, received the support of many of the luminaries of French intellectual life; at trial, was defended by attorney Gisèle Halimi, who took her case through a series of courts in Algeria; transferred to France, won release from prison at the time of Algerian independence (1962); later spoke and wrote on the subject of women's emancipation in a Muslim society.

See also Simone de Beauvoir and Gisèle Halimi. Djamila Boupacha: The Story of the Torture of a Young Algerian Girl which Shocked Liberal French Opinion (trans. by Peter Green, Macmillan, 1962); and Women in World History.

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