Togo: Government Must Respect People’s Right to Peaceful Assembly

The ongoing persecution and intimidation of dissidents by the government of Togo constitutes a violation of their rights to peaceful assembly, association, and speech.

Development Diaries reports that before the parliamentary and regional elections were held on 29 April, 2024, the government banned demonstrations planned by political parties and civil society organisations (CSOs) to protest the amendments to the constitution.

We understand that the amendments are likely, according to them, to allow President Faure Gnassingbé to extend his 19-year rule.

Findings by Amnesty International reveal that it has been challenging, if not impossible, to participate openly in the discussion of the new constitution without worrying about retaliation, such as arbitrary detention.

In recent months, the West African country has witnessed a concerning escalation in the crackdown on dissidents as the government intensifies its efforts to suppress opposition voices.

Reports from human rights organisations and local activists reveal a disturbing pattern of arbitrary arrests, intimidation tactics, and violence targeting individuals critical of the regime.

Freedom of expression and press freedom are increasingly under siege, with journalists, political activists, and ordinary citizens facing harassment and persecution simply for voicing dissenting opinions or participating in peaceful protests.

The crackdown appears to be driven by the government’s desire to maintain its grip on power amid growing discontent and calls for political reform.

Development Diaries calls on the Togolese authorities to end their escalating crackdown on human rights defenders, including the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, amid political tension surrounding the adoption of changes to the constitution.

Everyone in the nation, even those who disagree with them, has human rights that the government must uphold, defend, promote, and fulfil.

Photo source: Alphonse Logo/Anadolu via Getty Images


About the Author