Funeral prayers held in Doha for Algeria’s Abbas Madani

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Abbas Madani, the founder of Islamic Salvation Front (ISF)
By Ali Abo Rezeg

 

DOHA : Funeral prayers were held in Doha on Thursday for Abbas Madani, a prominent Algerian opposition leader who passed away in Qatar yesterday at the age of 88.

Prayers were attended by Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, along with numerous Arab political personalities and Islamic scholars.

Madani’s body will now be transported to his native Algeria for burial, sources close to his family have said.

Madani was born on Feb. 28, 1931 in Sidi Aqba near Algeria’s southeastern city of Biskra.

In 1988, he founded the Islamic Salvation Front (ISF) along with Ali Belhadj and Hashemi Sahnouni.

In 1991, with the ISF poised to sweep Algerian legislative polls, the party was outlawed by the army, which then rounded up and imprisoned its leaders, triggering a devastating decade-long civil war.

In 1997, after years in prison, the Algerian authorities released Madani, along with prominent ISF leader Abdelkader Hachani (who would be assassinated two years later).

In 2000, Madani and his deputy, Ali Belhadj, were banned from engaging in political activity.

Three years later, Madani was allowed to leave the country to receive medical treatment in Qatar, where he lived until his death on Wednesday.

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