- Title: ALGERIA: UN PANEL VISITS A HIGH SECURITY PRISON
- Date: 27th July 1998
- Summary: BENI MESSOUS, ALGERIA (JULY 27, 1998) (RTV - ACCESS ALL) 1. WIDE OF AREA SURROUNDING BENI MESSOUS (4 SHOTS) 0.25 2. SLV VARIOUS OF ENVOY, FORMER PORTUGUESE PRESIDENT MARIO SOARES DURING VILLAGE VISIT (2 SHOTS) 0.49 3. CU CHILDREN WATCHING 0.53 4. SLV DELEGATION WALKING IN THE VILLAGE (2 SHOTS) 1.06 5. SV SOARES SAYING, "WE CAMER HERE TO GATHER INFORMATION, WE VISITED THE PRISON AND WERE ABLE TO SPEAK TO MANY OF THE PRISONERS. WE WERE ABLE TO ASK THEM QUESTIONS WHICH THEY ANSWERED... WE ALSO MET THE (ARMY) GENERAL WHO COMMANDS THIS REGION AND A COLONEL AND WE DISCUSSED THE NATURE OF THE SITE WHERE THE MASSACRE (LAST SEPTMBER) OCCURED... WE TALKED TO SOME OF THE SURVIVORS OF THE MASSACRE." (FRENCH) 2.14 6. SLV SOARES AND OFFICIALS 2.19 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 11th August 1998 13:00
- Location: BENI MESSOUS, ALGERIA
- Country: Algeria
- Reuters ID: LVAE1E0KT57TCZ79HLURAZFB73Z0
- Story Text: The six-member team, formed by U.N.Secretary-General Kofi Annan and led by former Portuguese President Mario Soares, on Monday (July 28) spent more than six hours with prisoners at Serkadji high-security prison where 98 people, mostly Moslem rebels, were killed in a 1994 mutiny.
"We spent six hours and twenty minutes at Serkadji prison and talked to many prisoners," Soares said."We also discussed with the (army) general who commands this region and a colonel the nature of the site where the (September) massacre occurred." "We also talked to some of the survivors of the massacre," he told reporters at Beni Messous, 10 km (six miles) west of the capital where Moslem rebels slaughtered 58 people in two separate attacks last September.
Authorities banned journalists from accompanying the panel visiting the high-security Serkadji prison, opposite the defence ministry in central Algiers.
Asked to comment on his visit to the prison, Soares said: "The situation is complex and very difficult.We came here to gather information and we will not say anything to the press until the end of the mission." The two visits are the first field trips by the U.N.team since it arrived in Algeria on Wednesday.
The panel has held extensive meetings with government leaders, security officers, heads of opposition parties, newspaper editors and representatives of diplomatic missions in Algeria.
Besides Soares, the team includes former prime ministers I.K.Gural of India and Abdul Karim al-Kabariti of Jordan, former United States U.N.representative Donald McHenry, Simone Veil, the French former president of the European Parliament, and Kenyan Attorney-General Amos Wako.
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