Reporters Without Borders says it is shocked at the murder on 26 July of Algerian TV presenter Mourad Belkacem and called on the authorities to investigate at once the circumstances and motives for the killing.

The single most notable message from the recent elections in Algeria was the high rate of voter disinterest, according to a new International Crisis Group (ICG) report. In the capital, Algiers, 70 per cent of voters stayed away. In the Kabylia region, where there have been massive anti-government protests, alarming levels of violence and a powerful movement to boycott the elections, turnout was as low as 2 per cent. ICG Middle East Program Director Robert Malley said: "Since they won their more

Amnesty International calls for the release of human rights defender Abderrahmane Khelil and his friend Sid Ahmed Mourad. AI also wants an end to the intimidation of human rights activists in the country. The clampdown comes as human rights activists in Algeria investigate the circumstances surrounding the arrest, detention and trials of dozens of people in the context of ongoing anti- government demonstrations in the lead-up to legislative elections on 30 May 2002.

The Council of Government observed with regret that the said report and the ferocious campaign that accompanied it contradicted the efforts deployed by both Algeria and Morocco for strengthening trust and mutual trust for the benefit of good neighbourliness and cooperation between the two Algerian and Moroccan brotherly peoples, and the process of building the Arab Maghreb Union.

Algeria is reportedly co-operating with the US in the international alliance against terrorism. State media reports that it has handed over to Washington a list of 350 Islamist militants known to be abroad and whom Algerian intelligence believes are likely to have links to Osama Bin Laden.