Nineteen Algerian students arrested by police after they protested against a visit to their campus by President Abdelaziz Bouteflika have been charged with attacking the presidential convoy, newspapers reported Tuesday.
The students were arrested during the weekend after throwing rocks and shouting slogans supporting Algeria's dissident Berber minority, during the president's visit to Bouzareah University.
A member of the opposition Socialist Forces Front (FFS) and another from the Algerian League for the Defence of Human Rights (LADDH) were also detained following Saturday's protest, the papers said, cited by AFP.
The two, along with the students, appeared before a tribunal hearing in Birmandreis on Monday, the papers quoted sources as saying.
The students are due to face charges of "an attack on the national emblem" and "a flagrant attack" on the presidential convoy while the two others face charges including being part of an illegal gathering and disrupting public order.
There was no official confirmation of the judicial investigation.
The FFS denounced Bouteflika's visit, intended to celebrate National Student Day, as part of an alleged campaign for what it called a "future electoral masquerade."
Legislative elections in Algeria are scheduled for May 30.
Along with another pro-Berber opposition party, Rally for Culture and Democracy (RCD), the FFS has said it will boycott the election.
The FFS, headed by Hocine Ait-Ahmed, is seeking broader recognition as well as civil rights protection for Berbers, who make up between a fifth and a third of Algeria's population. (Albawaba.com)
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