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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Nigerian Laureate Held

WASHINGTON () -- Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka of Nigeria is under house arrest and has been prevented from leaving his homeland, the audience was told Thursday at a Washington conference on Nigeria's "crisis of democracy."

"The reality is that Professor Soyinka is under house arrest in Nigeria," said Adonis Hoffman of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where the celebrated African author and poet was scheduled to appear.

Nigerians who have managed to flee the country described the situation in Nigeria as a deepening reign of terror, with increasingly frequent random arrests and abuses under the regime of General Sani Abacha.

Soyinka, winner of the 1986 Nobel Prize in literature, became a high-profile dissident in late July. After marching in a pro-democracy parade, he hurled to the ground a Nigerian government medal and declared to a throng of policemen, "This is a fascist country."