ASSOUGEY, a technician from Lomé, the capital of Togo, was arrested on September 7th. His crime: participating in one of the anti-government protests that have rocked the country in recent weeks. A policeman beat him with the butt of his gun, he says. His left leg is covered in bruises. Like many of his fellow protesters, Assougey says he joined the demonstrations because the same corrupt people have been in power for too long.
Faure Gnassingbé, Togo’s president, has ruled the small west African country for 12 years. In 2002 his late predecessor and father, Gnassingbé Eyadéma, lowered the legal age limit for a president to make way for his son. Eyadéma had seized power in a military coup in 1967. Fifty years later, the family has been in power longer than any other African regime.
Despite Mr Gnassingbé’s best efforts to quash the protests, they continue. Initially centred around Lomé, they have spread to other parts of…