Dozens of Algerian dental students are continuing their hunger strike, which they began on Tuesday, as part of a national coordinated effort to pressure the government to tackle the issue of shortages of residences, the absence of internships and calls for better quality training.
A dozen students in the northern city of Tizi Ouzou have volunteered to carry out the radical action with the hopes of seeing the government consider their demands more seriously.
The student hunger strikers gathered in tents set up in the courtyard of the Faculty of Medicine located opposite the Hasnaoua campus of the Mouloud Mammeri University.
Banners at the entrance of the university read: “Students on hunger strike” and “three months of strikes for legitimate demands, no response and no commitment but repression”.
The action comes a week after over a thousand dental students from around the region took part in a national march in the city. The demonstrators denounced the police repression of students at a similar gathering in Algiers last week where students were prevented from demonstrating and taken away on buses by authorities.
The students reaffirmed they would maintain their mobilisation until their demands, which have been ongoing since the beginning of the protest movement in December last year, are met.
Pharmacy and dental surgery students have been previously received by Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal who has affirmed that the “main concerns of the majority of students are taken over by the high authorities”.
“We have only promises. We wanted something concrete. We have nothing at all,” one protesting pharmacy student explained.