U.N. panel ends visit to Algeria
Algeria, Politics, 8/5/1998
Algerian sources told ArabicNews.com that the UN delegation that recently completed a fact-finding mission to Algeria received hundreds of files about missing persons before its departure from the bureau of lawyer Mohammed Taheri, who is near to the outlawed Islamic Salvation Front. Among these files was the file of the second leader in the front, Sheikh Ali Ben Hag.
In a phone call, Taheri said that he does not intend to talk about his communications with the delegation, but he described the delegation as the most important fact-finding investigation to arrive in Algeria since the current crisis broke out at 1992.
Taheri confirmed that he focused years ago on violations of individual human rights and collective killings besides incidents of torture and discharging from posts, adding that he has completed the documentation of about 600 files regarding missing persons including formal certificates, messages, people's complaints and witnesses' accounts.
He denied the possibility that the missing are the terrorism victims as the authorities described them as being from those who went to the mountains to fighting alongside the Islamic Group.
The U.N fact-finding mission which visited Algeria to meet government and opposition officials, MPs, journalists and unionist figures wrapped up its 14-day visit on Tuesday.
The six-member mission, led by former Portuguese President Mario Soares, is to meet in Lisbon on Thursday with U.N secretary general Kofi Annan to brief him over the outcome of the visit.
Map reported that the Senior Associate Spokesman for the UN Secretary-General Juan Carlos Brandt said the panel set its own schedule and met the persons and organizations it wished to meet through its own personnel. The panel made arrangements so that it could receive telephone calls, faxes and letters from the population, he said, adding that it was granted facilitation to gather information about the massacres which have so far claimed the lives of tens of thousands innocent civilians.
The Algerian government blames Islamic militants for masterminding the massacres which erupted in 1992 after the cancellation of the results of the parliamentary elections which the now-banned Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) was poised to win.
UN secretary general Kofi Annan will review the major findings results shortly with a comprehensive report expected to be release later.
Algeria regrets UN Human Rights Committee's report
UN delegation ends work today in Algeria
Algerian parliamentarians oppose intervention in Algerian internal affairs
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