Algerian magistrates protest at Supreme Court amid crisis

ALGIERS – Judges, prosecutors and lawyers have staged an unusual protest at Algeria's Supreme Court to demand more judicial independence, amid resurgent tensions in the country's 9-month-old political crisis.

Hundreds of magistrates, many wearing traditional black-and-red robes, joined in Monday's demonstration in the capital Algiers. It was prompted by anger over a military intervention Sunday to dislodge striking judicial officials in a courthouse in the city of Oran.

Many Algerian magistrates have been on strike for days over what they call increasing pressure from the government. They want the justice minister fired.

The government says strikers are a minority and their protests are preventing others from working.

The government wants the magistrates back at work before Algeria's Dec. 12 presidential election, because they ensure elections are carried out according to the law.