Senegal’s main opposition leader Ousmane Sonko was arrested Wednesday on charges of disturbing public order after hundreds of his supporters clashed with police in the capital Dakar, while he was heading to court to face rape charges.
Protesters had gathered near Sonko’s home and followed his convoy towards the tribunal.
Police fired tear gas at his supporters, who were seen throwing rocks at police and burning tyres.
Sonko, who placed third in the 2019 elections, was accused of rape last month by an employee at a beauty salon.
He was summoned by a judge to appear in court for questioning Wednesday after his parliamentary immunity was lifted last week.
Sonko’s lawyer said he was also arrested for participating in unauthorized demonstrations.
Sonko has been a strong opponent of President Macky Sall since 2012 and he and his supporters have said the charges are politically motivated.