President Chadli Benjedid of Algeria has lifted all remaining restrictions on the freedom of Ahmed Ben Bella, the country's first President.
SV PULL BACK TO GV Sign M'sila and town in Algeria
GV INTERIOR Ahmed Ben Bella, former president of Algeria sitting with friends (3 shots)
CU PULL BACK TO SV Of painting of Ben Bella with wife and children
GV EXTERIOR Family leaving house and getting into car (2 shots)
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Background: President Chadli Benjedid of Algeria has lifted all remaining restrictions on the freedom of Ahmed Ben Bella, the country's first President. Mr. Chadli also pardoned several political prisoners to mark the 26th anniversary of the Algerian revolt against French colonial rule.
SYNOPSIS: M'sila, an industrial town, where Mr. Ben Bella has been forced to live as a recluse since being released in July last year from 14 years in jail. Until the lifting of restrictions, Mr. Ben Bella's movements had been under constant observation and he hadn't been allowed to receive journalists or visits from strangers. Mr. Ben Bella had been greeted as a hero for his efforts in helping Algeria to achieve independence in 1962. But in 1965 he was ousted from power in a coup led by Colonel Houari Boumedienne. Mr. Ben Bella disappeared from public view and until July last year (1979) was held in isolated detention.
The lifting of restrictions on Mr. Ben Bella, his wife and two adopted children was announced a few hours after President Chandli delivered a speech to the country's national assembly. Correspondents said the speech reflected Mr. Chadli's self confidence. The President warned all opposition groups that his manner of governing Algeria should not be regarded as a sign of weakness. President Chadli, apparently referring to Mr. Ben Bella in his speech said: "We are all jointly responsible for our past." There was no immediate indication that Mr. Ben Bella wished to return to politics or that he would be welcome to do so.