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Benin: Journalists arrested, 17 students injured in university demonstration

Two journalists, Elvis Tonoukouin (reporter) and Idrissou Boukary (cameraman) of privately-owned television station Canal 3 were on November 4, 2013, arrested by police for covering a demonstration at the University of Abomey-Calavi.

The MFWA's correspondent in the country reported that the demonstration was staged by the students to protest the introduction of registration fees of 15,000 CFA Francs (about US $31) by the university administration for students who wanted to register courses at two faculties during the same academic year.

The students, according to the correspondent, did not understand why the university administration was charging for the double registration when registration of courses had always been free. The authorities, on the other hand, said the decision was to prevent students who did not need a second registration from doing so.

The university authorities were reported to have called in the police to prevent the students from causing more damage to the school's properties.

On arrival, the police reportedly fired tear gas and live bullets, injuring 17 students and one head of department.

Tonoukouin and Boukary, who were then filming the incident, were arrested by the police and told reporting on the demonstration would not create a good image for the school.

They were then sent to the Abomey-Calavi police station and released later that day.

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