Opposition activists in the tiny West African nation of Togo are protesting the death of one of their leaders in state custody.

Authorities say Kodjo Yakanou suffered a heart attack in jail, but his supporters maintain he was denied access to adequate medical care.

Activist Zeus Atta Messan Ajavon said Monday that authorities refused a request by Yakanou's wife and lawyer to transfer him to a hospital.

Yakanou was among the opposition supporters who have been detained for months in questioning with the January burning of two main central markets.

The same family has ruled Togo for almost half a century. President Faure Gnassingbe assumed power in 2005 after the death of his father, the longtime dictator.

Togo has seen a number of street protests over the past year.