Very little progress seems to have been made towards a kinder and gentler Algeria this past year.
If you work for a government in the Middle East or Africa, it's tough to attract attention for your human rights abuses. After all, according to Amnesty International, most of the rulers in these areas routinely engage in unfair trials, torture, and political executions. According to Amnesty's annual report, prisoners were tortured in almost every country in the Middle East last year. Iran doubled its level of executions, while Iraq executed hundreds of people, including army officers and political prisoners. But Algeria has managed to stand out. They have scored human rights abuses in every single category. Since 1992, about 60,000 people have died in political violence sparked by the battle between Islamic forces and the Algerian government. Both the government and the opposition forces have been responsible for hundreds of executions. Torture of prisoners is routine, and hundreds of people remain "missing."