LETTERS: Egypt needs foreign help if it is not to go the way of Algeria

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The Independent Online
Sir: Robert Fisk's article provides chilling evidence of the atrocities being committed in Algeria. It is now clear that the Algerian civil war is not about sharing power, or the restoration of democracy, but it is a conflict between secularism and religious unitarianism, where Islamists are determined to root out every influence of secular thought from Algerian society. That is why secular writers, poets, artists and journalists have become the main targets of Islamists' wrath. What can the West do to alleviate the suffering of ordinary people, and to help the Algerian intellectuals in their struggle against Islamists' violent onslaught? One would have thought that Western human rights groups would come to their rescue by spearheading a campaign against violations of human rights by Islamists. But unfortunately quite the reverse has taken place. Instead of highlighting the plight of the Algerian elite, Amnesty International has decided to put the Algerian government in the dock in the current UN Commission meeting in Geneva, accusing its security forces of gross violations of human rights.

Yours faithfully, Randhir Singh Bains Gants Hill, Essex 2 February