18 January 2013

Togo: Opposition Leader Detained Without Charge in Togo

press release

Gérard Adja, the first vice president of the Organisation to Build a United Togo (OBUTS), has been in detention at the Research and Intelligence Department (SRI) of the National Gendarmerie, since January 13, 2013, in Lomé.

The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA)'s correspondent reported that Adja is a leader of the Let's Save Togo Collective (CST), an opposition group that held a demonstration on January 10, 2013.

"For now, no charge has been levelled against Adja and no official judicial enquiry has been instituted against him, according to the public prosecutor who was not even informed of his arrest", said the CST, who sent four lawyers to assist Adja, the same day of his arrest.

However, two of the four lawyers, Raphäel Kpandé-Adzaré, President of the Togolese Human Rights League (LTDH) and Jil-Benoît Afangbédji, President of Together for Human Rights Association, were also held by the Gendarmerie and released late in the night without any reason.

According to the correspondent, the CST has condemned the incident as an "arbitrary and illegal arrest", and noted that Adja's situation sufficiently proves that it is an outright premeditated machination, skilfully orchestrated by the authorities to destroy the leadership of the CST.

On January 10, police in Lomé violently disrupted a demonstration held by members of the CST, who were demanding institutional and constitutional reforms before the country's parliamentary elections in March 2013. The demonstration resulted in injuries to four journalists.

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