Raid on rights HQ in Nigeria

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The Independent Online
LAGOS - Ten people were arrested yesterday when Nigerian security police raided the headquarters of the Campaign for Democracy and the chambers of a detained human rights lawyer in an apparent attempt by the military government to head off protests due later this week, writes Karl Maier.

Security agents raided the home of Beko Ransome-Kuti, who is being detained without trial. Police confiscated documents before making arrests. They did the same at the chambers of Gani Fawehinmi, who with the lawyer Femi Falana and Dr Ransome-Kuti is being held on charges of conspiracy and sedition.

The raids came four days before demonstrations called by the Campaign for Democracy, an umbrella of human rights, women's and student groups, to press the government of Ibrahim Babangida to reverse its cancellation of the 12 June presidential elections, won by Chief Moshood Abiola.

The Campaign said it called the protests to demand that Gen Babangida honour his promise to leave office on 27 August and hand over to an elected civilian administration. Demonstrations in June degenerated into violence in which up to 100 people died.