"If I do not burn, if you do not burn, if we do not burn, how will the darkness become clarity? It was through these verses, from the Turkish poet Nazim Hikmet, that Alain Gresh, director of Orient XXI, paid tribute to Henri Curiel's total commitment. This great figure of the anticolonial struggle, who is also his father, will now have a plaque in his name, in Paris, affixed to the staircase linking Rue Rollin to Rue Monge. It was here that Henri Curiel lived, it is here that he was assassinated of three bullets of colt 45, on May 4, 1978.
The hired assassins, whom recent revelations link to Sdece, the French counterespionage, have never been arrested. Recently reopened by the prosecution, the investigation today stumbles on the secret defense. "We know, thanks to the work of the journalists, that there are implications of General Aussaresses (torturer during the Algerian war – Ed) and the highest authorities of the State. These decisions could not be taken without informing the President of the Republic, Valéry Giscard d'Estaing. It makes things complicated. But we do not lose hope, "said Alain Gresh. The relatives of Henri Curiel hope that the installation of this plaque, by the City of Paris, constitutes a "call to continue the investigation".
A smuggler between North and South
An appeal, too, to "break this French tradition of defense secrecy that makes part of the state think to be above the rules, in the name of reason of state". Because there are "dozens of cases that fall under the defense secret, such as the Ben Barka affair or the massacre of skirmishers in Thiaroye, in 1944, in Senegal".
This plaque also pays tribute to a "communist commitment, humanist, anticolonialist", according to Catherine Vieu-Charier, Deputy Mayor of Paris (PCF). "He quickly understood, agrees Alain Gresh, that the anticolonialist fight was the essential question for the countries of the Third World at a time when the communist movement thought that the social revolution was more important, that it would take place in European countries. . This intuition structured all his fights. After supporting free France, Henri Curiel, from a wealthy Jewish family in Cairo, created the Egyptian National Liberation Movement, the country's first communist party, which will play a major role in the strikes unleashed under British rule. Expelled by King Farouk, he committed himself alongside the Algerian National Liberation Front. He will even take over from Francis Jeanson at the head of the network of baggage carriers, before being imprisoned in Fresnes. After 1962, he created the Solidarity network, which will support, train, dozens of anticolonialist militants of the third world. Mandela, Ben Barka, anti-imperialist activists from South America, he helped them all …
"Many people in France have risen against the colonial company, have taken risks – Henri Curiel even paid for it with his life – all this must be gratified today," reacted yesterday Bertrand Badie, professor of universities. "The history of France must reintegrate all these militants and consider them as a part of its Resistance, as an integral part of the humanistic values of our country. Today more than yesterday, "because we are confronted with a populist and nationalist delusion cultivating a form of mistrust and fear against the South. (…) A man like Henri Curiel was a smuggler between North and South, between France and those African countries which become a little the center of the world, demographically, sociologically, politically. We must learn, through him, that we are no longer alone in the world. "