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|Society & You - Social Critic|
|Thursday, 28 June 2012 11:37|
On June 12, 2012 a peaceful march of the organization " Save Togo "[fr] degenerated into a clash with security forces. There were about 120 wounded [fr] during confrontations between 12 and 13 June. Among other things, the protesters demanded the implementation of the recommendations made by the National Commission of Human Rights in relation to torture and a comprehensive constitutional change.
Togo is in a period of political instability following the highly controversial 2005 presidential elections, which saw the rise to power of Faure Gnassingbe Eyadema , son of former President Gnassingbe Eyadema. Other events were scheduled for next week.
Suppression of the manifestations of June 13, 2012, photo taken by the group "Save Togo." Used with permission.
The birth of a collective
The group "Save Togo» linking several political organizations and human rights. It was created on April 4 in Lome and a total of 17 groups, which included seven organizations involved in the defense of human rights [fr]. The group was born from an assessment of current economic and social policy of Togo [fr]:
The democratization process that began in Togo in the nineties is impossible to be realized due to the constant changes in the highest levels of the state. Thus, all aspects of life in our country are linked to an unprecedented crisis and endless.
Politically, the agreements reached during the course of multiple negotiations have never been applied effectively or efficiently. More disturbing is the frequent and violent intrusion into the political debate made by certain factions within the armed forces of Togo, the political power they really have fun of their obligation Republican neutrality and impartiality.
At the institutional level, it follows that all the institutions of the Republic with the task of regulating political life and supervise the actions of power unfortunately are being manipulated.
Economically, the systematic looting of state resources by a minority for decades has plunged the country into debt.
Socially, this confiscation of wealth of the country by a minority has plunged more than 65% of the population in abject poverty, in the vast majority of households can not afford more than one meal a day, or access to basic health needs, or give their children the education they need.
The widespread violation of human rights has reached its highest point with the practice of torture and other types of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment that are banned or suppressed by a United Nations convention ratified by Togo for 25 years.
The targets set by the collective explains on his blog Fabbi Kouassi, which describes the creation of the [fr]. According to Kouassi, the group asked:
1) The immediate resignation of the government that is guilty of forgery and using false documents.
2) The identification and punishment of all those who participated in the falsification of the report of the NHRC (National Human Rights).
3) The rapid and effective implementation of the recommendations made by the CNDH in its true and authentic report.
4) The cancellation of all proceedings and judgments that led to the arrest and conviction of anyone who has been accused of involvement in the alleged attack on state security, and any other person tortured by the NRA [Agency Togo intelligence].
5) Compensation and the immediate and unconditional return of all ranks wrongfully discharged from the army as a result of the alleged attack on state security.
6) The removal of all trial judges who were aware of cases where those courts that reported in a clear, consistent and specific to have suffered torture and other forms of cruel treatment, inhuman or degrading treatment by the NRA and others, but have continued with the trial up to be sentenced.
Here is the video announcing the creation of the group:
Since its inception, the group has organized several marches exigniendo democracy and respect for human rights. Sylvio Combey, Lomé, reminds one of the marches which took place on May 24 [fr]:
The three main approaches to this march, according to I Adjare are mainly Togolese executive ignored the recommendations of the NHRC in relation to acts of torture, two bills introduced in the National Assembly on electoral laws and the electoral division and also the return of nine elected members of the ANC who had been excluded from the National Assembly. For the group "Save Togo," the attitude of the government is violating the position of the ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States), which prohibits any changes to the electoral law within six months from an election and without consensus.
Violent clashes with police
The marches organized by the group have been violently repressed by security forces. Combey describes the impact of the fighting [fr]:
The second day of the revolution, the manifestation of the organization "Save Togo 'turned sour. In protest, the police detained mercilessly the crowd of demonstrators gathered in the neighborhood of Déckon with tear gas. The group says it had 54 wounded, 24 of them seriously, during the course of June 12, 65 injured, 32 of them seriously. In addition, 15 people were arrested on 12 June 2012 and 63 on June 13, 2012, which included a dozen of the church of San Agustin de Amoutivé according to the CST (Confederation of Togolese Workers), which has confirmed that all the sound equipment they had brought to that place was confiscated and removed. The situation led to the coordinator of CST, Zeus Ajavon, to justify a hard [...] To this end, the government has asked the minister of security and civil protection "to take additional measures to ensure the safety of people and their freedom of movement. "A reaction is foolish enough to risk even more to the crisis takes hold. Kpatima The revolution has begun.
Photographs taken during the fighting that attest to the violence of the fighting [Warning: extremely graphic content].
One of the videos shows police attacking a protester seriously [Warning: extremely graphic content]
On Twitter, activists are using the label Togolese # occupyLome to share information on the demonstrations in real time.
Wilfried Toussine from Togo tweets:
@ Toussine : Police fire tear gas at protesters in the capital
@ Philoticus : # Togo: force the output of tyranny, here and now http://bit.ly/MjPdpJ # # Togo # OccupyLome TGInfo
And shares a disturbing news from one of the leaders of the march, M Celestin Agbogan:
@ Philoticus : # TOGO: M. Celestin Agbogan mistreated and arrested. - The FIDH reacts http://bit.ly/MjPWqS # # # OccupyLome TGInfo