10 hurt in doctors’ demo in Algiers

By benim
In Algeria
May 5th, 2011

Algiers – Security forces staged a brutal clampdown on a demonstration by hundreds of striking medical specialists in the Algerian capital on Wednesday, in which 10 people were injured, a doctors’ group said.

Marouane Sid Ali, spokesperson for a group representing doctors, told AFP in a telephone call that “10 doctors were injured by police during clashes with security forces” in front of the president’s office.

“Several others were questioned but I don’t know if they were released,” he added.

A photographer with El-Khabar newspaper had his camera confiscated, according to the daily, and when protesters tried to film the clashes with their mobile phones they too were seized, Sid Ali said.

The demonstrators, including dental and pharmacy students, were moved on in small groups towards May 01 Square, about 3km away.

There were fresh clashes at a police blockade there, with the protesters pushed towards the nearby Mustapha Bacha hospital where they staged a sit-in which ended in the late afternoon on Wednesday.

The medical specialists are calling for an end to the compulsory civilian service, whereby they have to spend two to four years in the country’s remote areas once they have qualified.

They are also calling for a wage increase and say they will continue striking until their demands are met.

Demonstrations have been multiplying across Algeria in recent weeks.

At the beginning of January five people were killed and about 800 injured in protests against the high cost of living.


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