M I D - E A S T R E A L I T I E S - MER EDITORIAL
INJUSTICE IN ALGERIA - HEAD OF ISLAMIC SALVATION FRONT "CONVICTED"
MER - Washington 7/13/97:
With deaths and casualties approaching 100,000, the Western- backed Algerian military's civil war against the nationalist and populist "Islamic" forces shows no signs of ending. The U.S., France, and other Arab militarist "client-regimes" in the region lead by Egypt are dedicated to subjugating nationalist Islamic movements at any cost.
Five years ago the head of the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) in Algeria, Abdelkader Hachani, was on his way to taking political power through the ballot-box -- otherwise known as democracy. The Algerian military seized control of the country, ended the elections, instituted marshall law, arrested Hachani, and has since conducted a scorched-earth massacre policy. Hachani has been held ever since without trial on trumped up charges of "undermining state security". Of course those who have really undermined the state are the generals who seized power. One day in the future, as in other countries like Argentina and Chile, maybe the Generals will find themselves imprisoned for their outrages.
Now, attempting to give some deceptive veneer of legitimacy to their bloody rule, the Generals have tried Hachani in one of their mock courts and found him guilty (of course!) of urging Algerian troops to disobey their officers rather than subvert the electoral process. It is in fact a charge he is guilty of -- but one for which he should be applauded rather than imprisoned!
Justice will eventually come to Algeria. But not now.
Meanwhile, the Western governments and their associated "human rights" organizations of various names and types haven't got much to say about all this. In reality "human rights" and "democracy" are what they rhetorically favor when its convenient; but about the opposite of what they actually practice in this inflamed and embittered Middle Eastern region.