People supporting the independence of the Biafran territories in south east Nigeria have staged a protest in Central London demanding the release of their UK-based leader Nnamdi Kanu. Kanu, head of the Indigenous People of Biafra (Ipob) group and director of the London-based radio station Radio Biafra, was arrested in Lagos earlier in October.
According to the Nigeria's state security service (DSS), he was released on bail, but his supporters claim that he is still being detained and has not resumed his activities on Radio Biafra.
Pro-Biafrans call for the independence of territories that constituted the Biafran Republic, established in 1967 and re-annexed to Nigeria in 1970, following a civil war that claimed between one and three million lives. Supporters of the Biafra issue hold regular marches − which they call "evangelisation" − across several states in southern Nigeria, mainly inhabited by the Igbo ethnic group. Protests have increased in the past few days in Nigeria and other states after Kanu was apprehended.
Pro-Biafrans accuse the police of violence. However, police have denied these claims, arguing that people advocating for Biafra hold violent protests disrupting peace.
Amnesty International said in an exclusive report by IBTimes UK that there is "credible evidence that pro-Biafran separatists in Nigeria are targeted by police". Meanwhile, the Nigerian government told IBTimes UK that it does not consider the separatist movement as a threat to the current leadership and defined pro-Biafrans as an "insignificant number of frustrated people who are not a threat to the existence of Nigeria".