Senegal has suspended social media and communications services after protests over the conviction of opposition leader Ousmane Sonko.

Sonko’s followers clashed with police in multiple locations on Thursday, resulting in at least nine fatalities.

Sonko was not present when he received a two-year prison sentence for immoral behavior but was exonerated of all rape-related accusations.

Police have surrounded his home in the nation’s capital, and the justice minister warned that he may be detained at any moment.

His supporters worry that the 48-year-old politician’s conviction may preclude him from running in the presidential election the following year.

Hundreds of officers are blocking his supporters from reaching his home in Dakar – and even his lawyers have been unable to visit him.

When the court handed down its verdict on Thursday, Sonko’s Pastef party called on people to “take to the streets”.

Interior Minister Antoine Félix Diome said the government had imposed restrictions on social media to stop the “dissemination of hate and subversive messages”.

By gvoice

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