Authorities in Togo have released two religious leaders detained for their critical views on the regime of President Faure Gnassingbe.
One of the two Imams, Alpha Alhassane, a revered spiritual leader in the second largest city of Sokode is also a known adviser of a leading opposition Pan-African National Party leader Tikpi Atchadam.
His arrest in October this year led to violent protests in Sokode with public buildings reportedly torched by angry protesters. The gendarmerie, post office, parts of the Togo Telecoms building among others were targeted by the protesters who clashed with the security forces, reports said.
Even though the reason for his arrest at the time was unknown, it was reported to be linked to the series of anti-government protests organised by the opposition.
A video making the rounds on social media, showed the Imam with well wishers supposedly after his release from detention.