Algerian police prevents student protests for first time

They forcefully barred access to a square in central Algiers and managed to disperse the demonstrators
Algerian protesters carrying national flags chant slogans during a students' demonstration
Algerian protesters carrying national flags chant slogans during a students’ demonstration against postponing the presidential elections in Algiers, Algeria, 08 octobre 2019. According to reports, Algeria will hold elections on 12 December, after the July vote was postponed, amid political vacuum since president Abdelaziz Bouteflika resigned. (Photo by Billal Bensalem/NurPhoto)

Algerian police Tuesday prevented a weekly protest by students in the capital for the first time since an anti-regime movement took to the streets in February, journalists and witnesses said.

They forcefully barred access to a square in central Algiers and managed to disperse the demonstrators after several forays, making at least 14 arrests, an action group for the release of detainees said.

“Police brutality reached a level not seen since the start of the demonstrations, according to several students,” El-Watan newspaper wrote on its website.

Algerian protesters carrying national flags chant slogans during a students' demonstration
Algerian protesters carrying national flags chant slogans during a students’ demonstration against postponing the presidential elections in Algiers, Algeria, 08 octobre 2019. According to reports, Algeria will hold elections on 12 December, after the July vote was postponed, amid political vacuum since president Abdelaziz Bouteflika resigned. (Photo by Billal Bensalem/NurPhoto)

Pay Attention: Court sentences Bouteflika brother to 15 years in Algerian prison

The prevention of the student march – a rally that takes place each Tuesday – follows a wave of arrests of journalists, activists and figures opposed to a December 12 presidential vote to replace longtime leader Abdelaziz Bouteflika who resigned in April after mass protests.

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Security forces have toughened their line against protests – including much larger rallies held each Friday, extending well beyond the student community – since the election date was confirmed in a mid-September announcement.

Algerian protesters carrying national flags chant slogans during a students' demonstration
Algerian protesters carrying national flags chant slogans during a students’ demonstration against postponing the presidential elections in Algiers, Algeria, 08 octobre 2019. According to reports, Algeria will hold elections on 12 December, after the July vote was postponed, amid political vacuum since president Abdelaziz Bouteflika resigned. (Photo by Billal Bensalem/NurPhoto)

Read Also: Algerians resume protests against General Ahmed Gaid Salah

Protesters have been demanding political reforms and the removal of regime insiders – including Gaid Salah himself – before any vote.


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