Among the many human rights tragedies in Algeria has been the "disappearance" of more than one thousand men and women since 1992, following their arrest by government forces. As with many acts of violence in Algeria, authorship of some cases of "disappearances" has been difficult to confirm. Armed Islamist groups are responsible for abductions as well as deliberate killings of thousands of civilians.However, there is overwhelming evidence that the security forces are carrying out "disappearances." They are doing so on such a wide scale that the practice could persist only with the sanction of the highest levels of authority. While Algerian officials have admitted that persons have "gone missing" in state custody, Human Rights Watch is aware of no high-level acknowledgment that the practice of forcible disappearance is rampant and ongoing, nor of any efforts by the Algerian authorities to bring to justice those responsible.