UN condemns human rights violations in Algeria

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GENEVA, Nov 2 (Reuters) The United Nations expressed concern today over ''numerous and grave human rights violations'' in Algeria and said they continued to take place with impunity.

In a regular review of the country's record, the UN Human Rights Committee said Algeria should take measures to investigate violations brought to its attention ''such as massacres, torture, rape and disappearances''.

The committee's 18 independent experts said the perpetrators included state agents and members of armed groups.

Algeria is emerging from more than a decade of conflict that began when the military-backed government scrapped 1992 legislative elections a radical Islamic party was poised to win.

Up to 200,000 people have been killed during the ensuing violence. Seventy-five people were killed in political violence last month alone, including 60 in suicide blasts, according to newspaper reports.

The UN committee recommended that Algerian judges, lawyers and citizens be educated in the basics of human rights to ensure that there is better respect for the International Covenant on Human Rights, which Algeria has signed.

REUTERS AM KP2248

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