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Algerian police clash with striking judges

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Algerian riot police clashed with judges participating in a nationwide strike on Sunday in the north-western port city of Oran, local media report.

The judges are pushing for the independence of the judiciary after an unprecedented mass reshuffle by the justice ministry in October that affected thousands of judges, the AFP news agency reports.

Officers in riot gear could be seen facing off against a crowd inside a courtroom, in mobile phone footage shared by privately owned Tout Sur l’Algerie (TSA).

Police were called to the court where the protesting judges had attempted to disrupt a swearing-in session for their pro-government colleagues, TSA said.

Prominent journalist Khaled Drareni shared photos and a video of the clashes on Twitter.

The National Lawyers’ Union has denounced the use of violence during the incident, calling it “a serious attack on the sovereignty of the judiciary”, privately owned website Algerie 1 reported.

The nationwide strike started last month following the state-controlled overhaul of the judiciary, a body expected to oversee elections next month.

Presidential elections have been called for 12 December, but protesters are continuing to demand political reform in the country following the removal of long-time leader Abdelaziz Bouteflika in April.

Source: BBC

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