The Togolese Civil League, an NGO that advocates for the rights of Togolese have condemned the arrest and detention of 2 Togolese citizens and key opposition leaders who have been accused of plotting to destabilize the country. The 2 individuals, Dr Brigitte Kafui Adjamagbo-Johnson and Gerard Djossou were by Togolese security forces.
Speaking during a global press conference, Wolali Ahlijah Chief strategist of the Togolese Civil League noted that, the violent and retrograde nature of the Togolese government is no longer a secret and for the past 57 years, the ruling party continues to use the military to detain, torture and exile numerous opposition leaders which constitute a threat to political freedom and basic human rights in Togo.
Farida Nabourema, the Executive Director of the league called on the international community and institutions committed to democracy and the rule of law in Africa to send a strong message to the government of Togo demanding the immediate release of the arrested opposition leaders.
Below is the statement read by Wolali Ahlijah during the global press conference:
On November 28, 2020, the government of Togo arrested Dr Brigitte Kafui Adjamagbo-Johnson and Mr Gerard Djossou on charges of conspiracy to destabilize the country. As of this day, the government has yet to present evidence of these accusations but has continued to detain both defendants.
A fearless advocate for Democracy, Dr Adjamagbo-Johnson made history by being the only female presidential candidate in Togo. She led the Coalition of 14 political parties that organized the protests of 2017 to demand term limits and the restoration of the original Togolese constitution. In 2020, she coordinated the coalition of the opposition that challenged Faure Gnassingbe in the Presidential Election and remained relentless in disputing the outcome. Her resolve has obviously made her a target for the government and her recent arrest is nothing short of a retaliation. This is also a clear attempt to intimidate the democratic forces that risk their lives every day to secure basic rights for the Togolese people.
The violent and retrograde nature of the government of Togo is not a secret. Over the past 57 years, the ruling political party, with the support of the military has detained, tortured or exiled thousands of political opponents. The recent arrest of a very prominent figure such as Adjamagbo-Johnson however, constitutes a new level of threat to political freedom and basic Human Rights in Togo.
It is imperative that the international community and all institutions committed to democracy and the rule of law in Africa send a strong message to the government of Togo by demanding the immediate liberation of Dr. Adjamagbo-Johnson and Mr. Djossou. It is also critical to demand transparency
and due process and ensure that their rights are respected. The government of Togo is closing down the already tight civic space in the country by targeting political leaders and the world must not watch in silence.
The Togolese Civil League condemns the arbitrary arrest and detention of Mrs. Adjamagbo-Johnson and urges everyone to do everything within their power to obtain her immediate release.
The Togolese Civil League