Doha: The co-founder of Algeria’s Islamic Salvation Front (FIS), Abbasi Madani, died in the Qatari capital Doha on Tuesday, local media and international agencies reported.
Madani was born in 1931 in Sidi Oqba, in the south-eastern province of Biskra, and holds a PhD in education from the UK. After his return from London, he started teaching at the University of Algiers, where he also became a leader of religious students. He travelled around the country, exchanging ideas and preaching the outlines of his ideological movement.
In 1988, Madani along with Ali Belhadj and Hashmi Sahnouni announced the establishment of the Islamic Salvation Front which, in 1990, won a majority of votes in the local elections. But when the Islamist party was all set to assume power, the Algerian army annulled the election results and jailed the front’s leaders. The movement was dissolved in 1992.
In the same year, a military court sentenced Madani to 12 years in prison after convicting him of “harming state security” before he was released in 1997 for health reasons. In 1999 he endorsed a peace agreement put forward by Algeria's president, Abdelaziz Boutefliks, between the FIS and the Algerian government.
He remained under house arrest until his prison sentence ended in 2003 left for Doha when he was offered hospitality. He died there on Tuesday.