Protests violently dispersed and student leaders expelled

Peaceful Assembly

On 26th July, police violently dispersed a protest by university students petitioning for catch-up sessions and the payment of their allowances. Twenty-one students were subsequently expelled from the university for alleged acts of boycott and incitement to boycott; creating a climate of disorder in exam rooms; and premeditated violence and incitement to violence and aggression. Most of them were prominent leaders of student organisations, including the president of the National Student Federation of Benin (FNEB), the president of the National Union of Benin Students, and the FNEB's Secretary of Communications and Mobilisation. Protests also broke out when, on 7th July, Benin's Council of Ministers voided the results of entry tests for posts in the Economics and Finance Ministry, citing numerous cases of fraud and irregularities. In the city of Parakou, police used tear gas to disperse a protest by candidates who had passed the tests. According to police sources, the protestors were blocking a main road and did not have official permission to demonstrate.