An appeals court in one of Algeria’s largest cities in the west witnessed a crackdown by security forces using batons on dozens of judges and prosecutors who are on strike.
The judges and prosecutors began an open-ended strike last Wednesday to demand the independence of the judiciary after a massive reshuffle that has affected thousands.
According to the union of magistrates, the reshuffle affected some 3,000 judges.
Judges shared online video footage showing a large number of public security servicemen converging on the appeals court in Oran in order to break the locks of offices closed by striking judges. The move was to enable non-striking judges from other courts to take up their new positions.
“What happened in Oran reaffirms our conviction on the need to carry on with the strike… It is a matter of restoring wasted dignity,” head of the National Magistrates' Syndicate Yasead Mabruk told Asharq Al-Awsat.
Members of the union said their representatives would take to the streets on Monday to protest the crackdown in Oran.
Ramdane Tazibt, a leader in the Workers' Party, confirmed that what has been happening in Oran is extremely dangerous, especially that judges were faced with violence for having fought for the independence of the judiciary.
Thousands of people who turned out Friday in the center of the Algerian capital, Algiers, as well as other towns and cities, for the 37th consecutive weekly protest against the government, see the judges’ strike as independent and self-motivated.
Some of the protesters have gone as far as holding the judges responsible for the jailing of dozens of demonstrators.