Students protest in Algerian capital

Students want govt to scrap a new law diluting value of their diplomas.

Algiers: About 500 students have rallied in
Algeria`s capital, part of the wave of unrest in Arab world to
register discontent with national governments.

Today`s protest near the ministry of higher education
follows scattered strikes and protests in recent weeks in
defiance of a ban on public gatherings in Algiers dating to a
bloody Islamic insurgency in the 1990s.

The students want the government to scrap a new law
that dilutes the value of their diplomas by giving equal
status to less-qualified degree holders in the job market.

Police were out in force, and some students claimed
they were beaten bloody with police sticks.

President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has promised to lift a
19-year-long state of emergency, including the ban on public
gatherings, by month`s end.


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