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Thursday, May 20, 1999 Published at 11:56 GMT 12:56 UK

World: Africa

Togo to sue Amnesty International

The government in Togo has taken the unusual step of briefing a top French lawyer, Jacques Verges, to sue the human rights group Amnesty International over allegations that hundreds of people were killed by the security forces last year.

Amnesty alleged in a recent report that hundreds of government opponents were killed during the presidential elections and that bodies were washed up on beaches for days afterwards.

The Togolese government has said the accusations are a tissue of lies.

Its announcement of the legal action came ahead of the arrival in Togo of Amnesty's Secretary General, Pierre Sane on what's expected to be a highly controversial trip.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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