Nigerian jailbreak tweeter 'is released'

  • 13 April 2014
  • From the section Africa
The Twitter profile picture of @ciaxon
Image caption The Twitter profile picture of @ciaxon - his family were unable to contact him for more than 10 days

A Nigerian man arrested after tweeting from the scene of a deadly jailbreak has been released after nearly two weeks in custody, his family says.

Yusuf Siyaka Onimisi - also referred to as Isiaka Yusuf - disappeared last month shortly after sharing pictures of the attack on Twitter.

Twenty-one people were killed during the attempted breakout in Abuja.

His brother confirmed his release to AFP, but there has been no direct word from Mr Onimisi himself.

"I spoke with him earlier today (Saturday) and our mum is with him in Abuja," Sanusi Onimisi told Agence France-Presse. "I thank all Nigerians, the media and human rights organisations within and outside the country who stood to fight for the release of my brother."

On 30 March, Yusuf Onimisi, 32, had tweeted a series of images and updates from the scene of the fighting at the State Security Service (SSS) headquarters near the presidential palace.

They showed Nigerian security forces taking cover after coming under fire from militants, as well as pictures of the militants themselves.

The attackers had allegedly tried to escape from the SSS building.

Mr Onimisi, who works for a national electricity firm, was then arrested shortly afterwards.

Twitter campaign

Supporters of Mr Onimisi held protests in the Nigerian capital on Saturday to call on the security services to disclose his whereabouts.

Activists and supporters also launched a Twitter campaign to call for his release.

The SSS has not yet commented on the arrest, nor has Mr Onimisi resumed tweeting.

Activists close to Mr Onimisi said that he was tired and would like to keep a low profile following his release.

The Islamist group Boko Haram is thought to be the main group behind the attempted breakout.

It has stepped up its attacks on security forces in 2014.

Amnesty International says 1,500 people have been killed in violence in North-Eastern Nigeria in the first three months of this year.

More than half of those killed have been civilians, Amnesty said.

It also accused the Nigerian military of being responsible for many civilian deaths through what it called its "brutal response".

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