Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Senegal arrests anti-Wade rapper Omar Toure aka Thiat

Prominent Senegalese rapper Omar Toure, who is a vocal critic of President Abdoulaye Wade, has been arrested.

The BBC's Thomas Fessy in the capital, Dakar, says dozens of his fans have protested, demanding his release.
The police did not give reasons for the arrest of Mr Toure, who is popularly known as Thiat. He spoke at an opposition rally on Saturday to urge Mr Wade not to run for re-election next year.
Several opposition leaders joined his fans outside the main court in Dakar to demand his release, our reporter says.
They said the arrest was the latest sign of growing intimidation in Senegal in the build-up to elections. 

'Enough is Enough'
Mr Toure is a member of the Home band. In January, he helped launch the Enough is Enough movement, which is galvanising youth to register for the elections. The government last week banned political demonstrations in central Dakar. Last month, riots erupted in the city, triggered by a proposal from Mr Wade to change the constitution. He had wanted to reduce the percentage of votes needed to win a presidential election - and avoid a run-off - from more than 50% down to a 25% threshold. Mr Wade - who took power in elections 11 years ago - dropped the plan but intends to run for a third term next year. The opposition says this would be unconstitutional and are demanding that he steps down.

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