Togo's Fabre claims cop brutality

2010-09-02 22:32

Lome - Togo's opposition leader claims police tried to stop him from leading protesters through a police blockade in their attempt to protest the alleged rigging of this year's presidential election.

Jean-Pierre Fabre says he and his supporters arrived at a church on Wednesday where they planned to hold a prayer service and found the entrance blocked by a police truck.

He says that when his supporters decided to enter the church, a police officer pulled out a baton and struck him in the back.

Police spokesperson Colonel Yark Damehane denied Fabre was hit and said the prayer service was unauthorised.

Fabre's supporters have accused Togo's President Faure Gnassingbe of manipulating the outcome of the March poll by bribing voters with money and bags of rice.