4 March, 2020
PRESS RELEASE : Togo must respect the freedom of peaceful demonstration
On February 28, 2020, hundreds of protesters who met to organise a peaceful demonstration, following the call of Archbishop Kpodzro, were forbidden to demonstrate and were chased out and some were also arrested. The conduct of the security on the demonstrators resulted in several injuries. However, the WAHRDN and CTDDH wish a speedy recovery to the victims of this sad event.
The West African Human Rights Defenders’ Network (WAHRDN) and the Togolese Human Rights Defenders’ Coalition (CTDDH) believed that the victims could have been saved if the demonstration had been given due process .
The two organizations denounce a crackdown on peaceful demonstrators contrary to the provisions of the Guidelines on freedom of association and of assembly in Africa adopted in 2017 by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, and of the Code of Conduct for public officials Application of the Laws of the United Nations of 17 December 1979 (resolution 34/169).
We call on the authorities responsible for the security of persons and property in Togo to act with great professionalism in public order management particularly during peacefulof demonstrations in the country.
The WAHRDN and CTDDH calls on the government of Togo to investigate and prosecute those responsible in line with its international commitments on the protection of human rights during post- election crisis situation.
The West African Human Rights Defenders’ Network’s mission is to contribute to building a West Africa that is respectful of human rights and where human rights defenders carry out their actions for the promotion and protection of human rights with art and professionalism.
The Togolese Human Rights Defenders’ Coalition (CTDDH) is a network of twenty organizations covering the five administrative regions of Togo whose objective is to protect human rights defenders at the national level.