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Algeria: Repression and violence must end

, Index number: MDE 28/008/1994

Since the imposition of the state of emergency in Algeria, over 10,000 people have been killed and gross human rights abuses committed. Both the security forces and armed Islamist groups have acted in total disregard of international and humanitarian law and the civilian population has been trapped in a spiral of violence. Hundreds of individuals are reported to have been unlawfully killed by the security forces, either as an alternative to arrest or in retaliation for attacks by armed Islamist groups. For their part, armed Islamist groups have deliberately and arbitrarily killed hundreds of civilians, including people known for their public opposition to these groups' political agenda. Torture, virtually eradicated between 1989 and 1991, has become increasingly widespread and tens of thousands of people have been detained under emergency laws. Over 1100 death sentences have been passed by special courts, where trials apparently fall short of international standards of fairness.

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