Human Rights In Algeria


Sir, - You report (October 17th) that Mr Robin Cook has pledged to work much more closely with human right groups such as Amnesty International in denouncing countries where abuses of human rights were tolerated. He cited Burma, Serbia, Iraq and Afghanistan.

In his speech to the UN General Assembly, Mr David Andrews also denounced countries which were guilty of violations of human rights. Neither Mr Cook nor Mr Andrews mentioned Algeria, although the United Nations Human Rights Committee has - in the words of Amnesty International - "blasted" Algeria's human rights record.

These abuses continue, as do the massacres of innocent civilians. And, after several recent elections marked by widespread electoral fraud, the country is once more preparing to vote for a president "after Algeria's generals staged a muffled internal coup" (Lara Marlowe, The Irish Times, September 24th).

If we want the coming elections to be transparent and democratic, this is the time to focus on human rights violations in Algeria. - Yours, etc., C. Gaidoni,

Ailesbury Grove, Dundrum, Dublin 16.