Algeria: July 12, 2003


 The government released FIS (Islamic Salvation Front) leaders Abassi Madani and Ali Belhadj. FIS won elections in 1991, but the military government refused to yield to  democratically elected Islamic fundamentalists. The two men are the last of the FIS leaders to be released after serving sentences imposed by military courts in 1992. The banned FIS has mellowed somewhat, especially compared to the Islamic radicals who went to war with the government after 1991. The Islamic movement arose because of corruption and inefficiency in the military dictatorship (run by the men who led the rebellion against the French colonial government in the 1950s and 60s.) 


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