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Togo: 19 students injured, 12 arrested in clashes with gendarmes

Police arrive at a demonstration at the University of Lomé on 8 December 2011.
Police arrive at a demonstration at the University of Lomé on 8 December 2011.

Daniel Hayduk/Demotix

Nineteen students sustained injuries on February 13, 2014, when students from the University of Lomé clashed with gendarmes on campus over an attempt to demonstrate.

According to a correspondent for the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), the students attempted to stage a demonstration to protest "arbitrary criteria" that the university has introduced for granting scholarships.

Since demonstrations have been banned by the university authorities, the gendarmes on campus prevented the students from demonstrating. This led to clashes between the students and the gendarmes. 19 students were injured in the process.

Eight students were subsequently arrested by the gendarmes.

Subsequently on February 14, another group of students attempted to demonstrate to demand the release of their colleagues who were arrested the previous day. Four of the demonstrators were arrested again.

The MFWA is concerned that over the last few years, students demanding better living and learning conditions have been subjected to intimidation, arrests and, indeed, threats of dismissal from universities inTogo.

We call on the university authorities to recognize the students' rights to demonstrate.

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