Civil society organizations strongly condemn the arrest of SET officials and demand their immediate release

Source: Réseau Ouest Africain des Défenseurs des Droits Humains’ Facebook page
1. In the evening of April 8, 2022, Sirs Kossi KOSSIKAN, Joseph TOYOU and Ditorga Sambara BAYAMINA, respectively Deputy Secretary General, Regional Secretary of Savane and Prefectoral Delegate of the Grand Lome of the Togo Teachers’ Union ( SET) have been arrested and placed into custody at the Service premises Centre for Criminal Investigation and Investigation (SCRIC). Conducted in the afternoon of April 11, 2022 in front of the parakeet of instance that requires the opening of information, they will be placed under a warrant of deposit by the dean of the instructional judges of the Lomé court. They are accused of inciting students and other people to revolt through promises, threats, orders or any signs of rally; in the background, an unsigned communication of March 30, 2022 regarding the extension of the strike and app the parents of students to send their children to protest and children to support teachers, that the authorities will not recognize otherwise. Mr. Ditorga Sambara BAYAMINA, one of the victims of this eleventh judicial cabal, has gone on hunger strike from his arrest to his mandate and is not ready to stop. While thanking Me Célestin Kokouvi AGBOGAN, lawyer and President of the Togolese League of Human Rights (LTDH) who spontaneously formed himself to assist the following, our organizations would like to point out the following:
On the existential legality of SET
2. To oppose a refusal to engage in discussions with the SET and to make it an interlocutor, the ministers of public service, labor and social dialogue; primary, secondary, technical, and craftsmanship; of the commune cation and the media, speak of the government, support turn to turn that “SET is not legally constituted in a union.” And for this reason, the government can’t argue with a group of people who are not legally organized in a union; that’s all.” This statement is totally false and needs to be proved.
3. According to Article 10 of Act No. 2006-010 of 13 December 2006 bringing the Labor Code in force at the time of the creation of the SET: “The founders of a professional union must submit statuses and names containing nationality, the domicile the, age, quality and professionality of those who, in any title, are in charge of his administration or his leadership. “This deposit takes place in four copies against the accused of reception at the city hall or at the headquarter of the prefecture where the union is established.” In addition, Article 242 of the General Statute of the Public Service provides that: “Union law is recognized to officials.” “In addition to the legal deposit, any union organization of officials is required to submit, within the two (2) months of its establishment, the deposit of its statuses and the list of its administrators with the authority having the power to nominate on the s officials are called to be part of it or with them from the minister in charge of public service or labor.”
4. These two formalities have been regularly completed by the SET officials following emails dated June 14 and October 6, 2021, all with discharges.
5. Today, the administrative authorities are trying for no reason to oppose the SET the provisions of Article 13 of the new Labor Code of June 18, 2021 which states that “The deposit is held by the Minister in charge of the Ter Administration ritorial, with copy of the minister in charge of labor, against the accused reception” .
6. Indeed, according to the statement of the principle of the implementation of laws in time, the laws come into force, throughout the territory, the day they set or, otherwise, the day after their publication in the Official Journal, therefore after respecting the d freestyle slate from midnight to midnight.
7. Therefore, Law No. 2021-012 of June 18, 2021 carrying a new Labor Code was published in the Official Journal of the Togolaise Republic on June 18, 2021 it has therefore only entered into force on June 19, 2021 and cannot validate it read to SET in measure where article 2 of the civil code states that: “The law provides only for the future; it has no retroactive effect.” In these conditions, unless the legislator deliberately plans otherwise, the new law does not have the intention to amend the past effects of the old law.
8. Better, Article 375 of the new Labor Code clarifies that: “The provisions of this law are fully applicable to individual contracts in progress.” “They [provisions] cannot be a cause for breaking the contract nor bring about the reduction of benefits of all nature, individual or collective, acquired by workers in service at the date of their publication.”
9. CONSEQUENCES: Firstly, the SET is a union and a union is not an individual contract, but a collective contract that is agreed upon by an association of people for the defense of common professional interests; secondly, the new law cannot be a cause for reduction of individual or collective benefits acquired by workers on duty: it is, in case we are interested, about the protection of the rights acquired by the SET.
10. In conclusion, the SET is a legally formed union and it is in this logic that an appeal for excess power was introduced on April 11, 2022 in front of the Administrative Chamber of the Togo Supreme Court in cancellation of arrest No.0957/M FPTDS of March 30, 2022 and No. 1013/MFPTDS of 05 April 2022 of the Minister of Public Service, Labor and Social Dialogue, taking administrative measures and taking one hundred forty-six (146) teachers in the framework of education officials and making them at the disposal of the ministry re in charge of public service.
On the request for immediate release of SET officials
11. Signature organizations insistently draw the attention of government authorities on the provisions of articles 2, 3 and 4 of the Convention No. 87 of the International Labor Organization (OIT) on union freedom and pro text of the union law of June 9, 1948 to which Togo went: Article 2 “Workers and employers, without distinction of any kind, have the right, without prior permission, to form organizations of their choice, as well as that of affiliation with these organizations, on the only condition of securing themselves inform the statuses of the latter”; article 3 ” 1. Workers and employer organizations have the right to draw up their statute and administrative regulations, to freely elect their representatives, to organize their management and activities, and to formulate their agenda of action. 2. Public authorities must abstain from any kind of intervention to restrict this right or interfere with legal exercise”; Article 4 “Worker and employer organizations are not subject to dissolution or suspension by v Administrative oie”. In addition, Article 323 of the Labor Code provides:
“No worker can be punished for normal and regular exercise of the right to strike.”
12. Signature civil society organizations ask the government to realize the legal evidence, to stop forcing, arbitrariness and abuse of power that are far from bringing back the much desired calm and quietness re country in general and for the education sector in particular, and to immediately release Mr. Kossi KOSSIKAN, Joseph TOYOU and Ditorga Sambara BAYAMINA; and appeal to the Regional Director of the International Labor Office (BIT) and to all union centers of Togo.
Done in Lomé, 11 April 2022 For Organizations,
The President of the ASVITTO,
M. Monzolouwe B. E. Somebody at Atcholi