Africa

Senegal police free anti-Wade rapper Toure aka Thiat

  • 27 July 2011
  • From the section Africa
Senegalese rapper Omar Toure addresses a rally on Saturday in Dakar
Senegalese rapper Omar Toure has denounced President Abdoulaye Wade's bid for a third term

Senegal's police have released prominent rapper Omar Toure after questioning him for criticising President Abdoulaye Wade.

Mr Toure, who is known as Thiat, was arrested on Monday for opposing Mr Wade's plan to stand for re-election next year.

The opposition said his arrest suggested growing intimidation ahead of the polls.

Dozens of his fans protested in the capital, Dakar, demanding his release.

Mr Toure is a member of Senegal's popular Keur Gui band.

In January, he helped launch the Enough is Enough movement, which is urging youth to end their apathy and register for the elections.

Demonstrations banned

Police released Mr Toure without charging him. He was questioned over a speech he gave to thousands of supporters at a rally in the city on Saturday.

Mr Toure was strongly critical of Mr Wade, denouncing his plan to run for a third-term.

The opposition says Mr Wade - who took power in elections 11 years ago - is becoming dictatorial.

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.

But widespread protests forced him to drop the plan.

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