Dozens of protesters demanding the release of a Nigerian journalist and opponent of the regime were dispersed Tuesday in Abuja by security agents who fired into the air, causing fear and confusion, journalists from the AFP.
Between 70 and 80 demonstrators gathered in front of the headquarters of the DSS, the security services that hold Omoyele Sowore since early August, after his arrest for « treason » and call for revolution, according to an AFP journalist present on site.
They chanted slogans such as Free Sowore or Buhari is a bully, when about fifty DSS agents came out of the building, some by car, motorcycle or truck, and forced the passage into the crowd.
Security officers fired in the air and protesters began to run in all directions. Some tried to cross the highway down, others were trampled and a journalist was beaten.
Unsuccessful presidential candidate in February, Sowore, 48, was arrested in August by the DSS for calling on Twitter to organize an event called « Revolution Now ».
Virulent slayer of the regime
A virulent defender of President Muhammadu Buhari, he is also the founder of the online newspaper Sahara Reporters, which presents itself as an independent investigative media in a country where freedom of the press remains fragile.
At the end of September, the Nigerian judiciary ordered his release without this decision being followed.
Sowore’s situation has raised outrage over Nigerian social networks and intellectual circles, such as Nobel Prize winner Wole Soyinka for publicly denouncing attacks on individual rights.
Several Nigerian opposition figures prosecuted for corruption or undermining state security are still imprisoned despite court orders ordering their release.