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Algeria votes in referendum over amnesty for Islamist rebels

[JURIST] Algerians voted Thursday in a referendum [AP key points; BBC backgrounder] that seeks to bring peace to Algeria after a 13-year-long civil war. Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika [official profile in French] says the Charter for Peace and National Reconciliation seeks to close the wounds of the battle between Islamic militants and government forces that left over 100,000 people dead and resulted in thousands of disappearances. Those found guilty of taking part in massacres, rapes and bombings in public places are not included in the amnesty, but opponents say the document is too vague and will be difficult to enforce. Family members of victims of the conflict will receive compensation under the charter as well. Human rights groups have been critical of the document [Human Rights Watch report], claiming it prevents some war crimes from being investigated. BBC News has more.

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