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Accessed on 16 October 2020, 1250 UTC, Post 643.

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Latest Updates

  1. US has 'blood on its hands' over deportations

    BBC Focus on Africa radio

    Campaigners in the US have accused the government there of "mass human rights violations" adding that it has "blood on its hands" after 88 people were deported to Cameroon.

    Sofia Casini, the director of Visitation Advocacy Strategies, has called for the deportations to be investigated.

    Many of those who were flown to Cameroon had sought safety in the US after fleeing their home country due to the violence in the English-speaking part of the country.

    After applying for asylum they were held in detention by the US authorities.

    One man described his journey to the US through the Panama forest in Central America and how he had hoped that the US would live up to its reputation as a protector of human rights.

    But the deportees complained that they were violently mistreated.

    In a letter to BBC Focus on Africa, the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement said that it did not comment on on-going operations but "in general, sensationalist unsubstantiated allegations are irresponsible, and should be treated with the greatest of scepticism”.

    Listen to the Focus on Africa interview with Sofia Casini:

    Video content

    Video caption: Sofia Casini is the director of Visitation Advocacy Strategies in the US.
  2. French dog-walkers can break curfew

    Dog-walking near Eiffel Tower, Paris, April 2020
    Image caption: Dogs will still get their exercise during the curfew

    About 20 million people in France are bracing for the start of night curfews from midnight Friday (22:00GMT).

    The entire Paris region will have night curfews – from 21:00 to 06:00 - for at least a month, as will eight other cities, including Marseille, Lyon, Lille and Toulouse.

    So what are the dos and don’ts?

    Restaurants, bars, cafes and cinemas must shut at 21:00 and diners remain restricted to six maximum per table, French media report. Food outlets can still provide night-time deliveries.

    Jogging and dog-walking will still be allowed during the curfew but, as during the two-month lockdown, a signed permit will be required, which can be downloaded onto a phone.

    France is deploying 12,000 police officers specifically to enforce the curfew. The fine for a violation will be €135 (£122) and a repeat offender could face six months in prison and a €3,750 fine.

    The few exemptions include medical emergencies, essential home care visits and travel by train or plane at night. Shift workers with late hours may also break the curfew.

  3. Tanzania border village attack 'leaves 20 dead'

    BBC World Service

    Map of region

    Details have emerged from Tanzania about an attack on Wednesday by unidentified gunmen at a village on the border with Mozambique.

    Local media say more than 20 people were killed during the attack at Kitaya, which is located on the Rovuma river separating the two countries.

    Houses and vehicles were reportedly torched; among the buildings targeted was a house belonging to a candidate in elections due later this month.

    Some reports say Islamic State-linked militants active in Mozambique carried out the attack - but others suggest the violence may be election-related.

  4. Video content

    Video caption: Economist Jim O'Neill on China and post-Brexit Britain

    Post-Brexit Britain needs to avoid a "simplistic" view on trade, says economist Jim O'Neill.

  5. Nigeria to set up teams to probe police brutality

    Is’haq Khalid

    BBC News, Abuja

    Protesters in Lagos on October 13, 2020

    Nigeria's government has ordered the setting up of judicial panels in all the 36 states to investigate allegations of police brutality.

    The panels will receive and investigate complaints of police brutality, including those linked to the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad, known as Sars.

    The panels will also investigate incidents of police using excessive force against protesters since demonstrations started last week.

    This is in addition to an independent panel of investigation to be set up by Nigeria’s National Human Rights Commission.

    Thousands of Nigerians have been protesting in major cities against police brutality.

    Rights groups including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have condemned the use of force against demonstrators during the initial days of the protests.

    They have called for police reforms and the prosecution of those responsible for brutality.

    Amnesty said some 10 people were killed in the protests and hundreds injured.

    The governor of Lagos state said police officers who allegedly opened fire on protesters there have been arrested and are being tried. But the demonstrators appear unsatisfied.

  6. Hotel Rwanda film hero 'picks lawyers from prison'

    Samba Cyuzuzo

    BBC Great Lakes

    Paul Rusesabagina in court in Kigali, Rwanda on 25 September
    Image caption: Paul Rusesabagina is facing 13 charges

    Paul Rusesabagina, the man who inspired the film Hotel Rwanda about the 1994 genocide, has written a letter from prison on his choice of Rwandan legal representatives, according to one of the chosen lawyers who is based in Belgium.

    Up to now he has been represented in court by two lawyers who his family said were picked by the prosecution.

    Mr Rusesabagina has been charged with terrorism and murder among other 13 counts. He has not yet entered a plea.

    Lawyer Vincent Lurquin told journalists on Thursday that he received a letter from Mr Rusesabagina during a recent visit to the Rwandan capital, Kigali, in which he picked Mr Lurquin and Gatera Gashabana from a list of seven names drawn up by his family.

    But the two lawyers were reportedly denied access to their client.

    “I don’t see why Rwanda blocked me from seeing and assisting my client, a Belgian citizen, on a case that started in Belgium,” Mr Lurquin said.

    Mr Rusesabagina was denied bail early this month and is detained at a prison in Kigali.

  7. Latest as Europe battles Covid surge

    Rotterdam hospital, 15 October 2020
    Image caption: A Rotterdam hospital, where intensive care beds are filling up rapidly

    Partial lockdowns are continuing to spread across Europe as governments battle to curb virus infections.

    • The Netherlands has closed bars and restaurants as cases there surge. Hospitals in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague are under pressure from new Covid patients. Hospitals in western Germany have readied spare beds to take Dutch patients if necessary, as happened early on in the crisis
    • New infections are also rising rapidly in Germany: the latest official daily figure is 7,334 cases, up from 6,638 on Thursday. Germany has declared many neighbouring countries and regions to be "high risk", including the whole of France and the Netherlands, and parts of Italy and Switzerland. Germans returning from there will have to quarantine
    • Ireland now has a four-week national restriction on household visits, except for attending to medical and care needs. Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan said Covid-19 in Ireland was "not in control" – that is, the current track-and-trace system could not keep up with it
    • Austria has imposed a quarantine on Kuchl, a town of 6,600 inhabitants in the Salzburg region, because of a Covid cluster there. It is the first such measure in Austria for months
    • France faces one last evening before a night curfew takes effect in Paris and eight other cities. The number of new cases in 24 hours reached 30,621 on Thursday – a new record.
  8. Twitter emoji backs #EndSARS protests

    Mayeni Jones

    BBC News, Lagos

    Twitter has launched an emoji in support of anti-police brutality protests in Nigeria.

    The CEO of the social media platform, Jack Dorsey, tweeted the #EndSARS hashtag with the new emoji on Friday morning.

    Screen grab showing the emoji

    The emoji, a raised fist in the colours of the Nigerian flag, has already been widely used on the social media platform.

    Meanwhile, the Twitter account of Nigeria's broadcasting authority has been hacked.

    The hackers are sharing messages in support of the protests.

    This is the second week of demonstrations against police in brutality which started online and have spread to the streets of cities across Nigeria and abroad, including in London and Berlin.

    The protests initially called for the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (Sars), a police unit widely accused of extortion, torture and extra-judicial killings.

    However following an announcement by President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday that the unit would be dissolved, protesters have called for further reforms, including compensation for the families of victims and better funding for the police.

  9. Trying to feed a family in South Africa

    Video content

    Video caption: Lusisindo Malgas lost his job during the lockdown and the signs seemed one way to get cash

    Lusisindo Malgas lost his job during the lockdown and decided to do the signs to get any cash he could

  10. Zanzibar presidential candidate barred from campaigning

    Aboubakar Famau

    BBC News, Dar es Salaam

    Maalim Seif Sharif Hamad

    The Zanzibar Electoral Commission has barred an opposition presidential candidate from campaigning in the Tanzanian elections for the next five days.

    Zanzibar is a semi-autonomous island within Tanzania.

    Maalim Seif Sharif Hamad of ACT Wazalendo party becomes the second opposition candidate in the country to be restricted from campaigning by the electoral body.

    He was accused by a rival party, Demokrasia Makini, of violating electoral regulations. He can appeal against the ban.

    His party said it will hold a meeting on Friday to discuss the matter before declaring its stand.

    Earlier this month, Tundu Lissu, the presidential candidate from Tanzania’s main opposition party, Chadema, was also barred from campaigning for seven days.

    Elections will be held in the semi-autonomous archipelago alongside Tanzania's general elections on 28 October.

    Voters will elect the islands' president, members of the legislators and local councillors.

 

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