RealNews

Algeria Frees Islamist Leaders

The top two leaders of the outlawed Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) in Algeria have been freed from custody after serving their 12-year sentences. FIS leader Abassi Madani, was released from house arrest and his deputy, Ali Belhadj, from prison in the town of Blida, south of Algiers. They are reported by the French AFP news agency to have been banned from all political activities. The two men were arrested in 1991 after their party called for a general strike. FIS went on to score a massive victory in parliamentary elections in 1992, but the result was cancelled after the army took over and FIS supporters and sympathisers became the target of severe repression from the state. Radical Islamists responded by taking up arms – and the subsequent years of political violence left more than 100,000 Algerians dead. The Front’s own armed wing surrendered two years ago in return for an amnesty. Full Story

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