A professor at the university campus of M’sila is in intensive care after being violently attacked by students from the Student National Solidarity yesterday.
He reportedly lost consciousness on the spot and was transported to the Zahraoui hospital where he spent a night in the intensive care unit and is currently under observation.
The attack follows similar blows dealt to three teachers at the Department of Economics earlier this year.
The vigilante students are believed to be using this tactic of violence to disrupt exams and target heads of departments, according to Mohamed Diab, the coordinator of the National Council of Higher Education Teachers (CNES) union at the University of M’sila.
We are seeing a real phenomenon of banditry on our campus, where, without any exaggeration, militias are formed into approved student organisations that systematically call on violence against teachers in order to provoke them, to install a climate of terror and benefit from preferential treatment and have the best ratings without making any effort. By imposing this new illegitimate law, teachers today are afraid as are the agents responsible for the security of the premises.
In support of their fellow victims, the CNES union has appealed to all its members as well as those of the other unions to hold a sit-in in front of the university.
According to Diab, there has been no altercation but this attitude on the part of student aggressors aims to turn the situation in their favour. CNES is now demanding an inquiry and a lawsuit against the aggressors to be presented before the disciplinary councils.
The M’sila incident is not unique and has been preceded by several similar incidents of violence, the most pressing of which occurred on 17 February when a group of youths armed with weapons assaulted professors at Algiers University 3 whilst a union meeting was taking place.