UN probe in Algeria

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A UN human rights monitoring body called yesterday for an independent investigation into the actions of the security forces during massacres in Algeria.

Despite hearing evidence from the Algerian government, which rejected any involvement in massacres, torture and disappearances, the UN Human Rights Committee concluded that it was turning a blind eye to its responsibilities under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The rebuke come as Algiers is trying to convince a visiting UN fact-finding mission that it is open to scrutiny. The committee's chief concern was the lack of investigation into disappearances and massacres, which the Algerians claimed they conducted regardless of who might be responsible.

Although it stopped short of blaming the government for some of the abuse or of lying, the Committee clearly felt the Algerians were being economical with the truth.

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