Algerian PM denies releasing thousands of Islamists accused of terrorism

08:26, May 30, 2011      

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Algeria Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia denied on Sunday reports alleging to release Islamist detainees accused of terrorism.

Ouyahia said during a news conference that "I absolutely deny such a rumor, with respects I owe to brothers who announced it," referring to former senior members in the dissolved Islamist Salvation Front party (FIS), namely El Hachemi Sahnouni and Abdelfateh Zeraoui.

El Hachemi Sahnouni and Abdelfateh Zeraoui said in a statement issued late April that President Abdelaziz Bouteflika would soon amnesty Islamist prisoners charged of terror acts since 1992, including those arrested in the early 1990s.

The statement said President Bouteflika would decided after consulting commanders of the army and the security services to issue an amnesty in favor of the prisoners, except for those involved in genocides, rape acts, and conducting bombing in public spaces, as stipulated in the National Reconciliation Law, which has been endorsed by the majority of Algerians in a referendum held in September 2005.

Sahnouni and Ziraoui sent a letter to President Bouteflika two months ago, calling him to release Islamist prisoners.

Source: Xinhua
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