In a case which was heard before the Court of Justice of the Economic Community of West African States, the ECOWAS Court ruled that the 2017 internet shutdown in Togo was illegal. One of the things which the ECOWAS court held was that the interference with access to the internet was also an interference to freedom of expression.
Access to internet is not stricto senso a fundamental human right but since internet service provides a platform to enhance the exercise of freedom of expression, it then becomes a derivative right that it is a component to the exercise of the…
Rioting. Looting. Broken glass. Disrespect to the media and cops. It wasn’t Black Lives Matters protesters or anarchists. This was the scene at and in the Capitol on Wednesday afternoon. MAGA protesters stormed the capitol and walked right in. One Maga supporter walked in the Chambers and announced Trump won the election! Another rioter went to Nancy Pelosi’s office and put his feet on her desk to declare the same.
MF DOOM (born Daniel Dumile) was not only one of the greatest lyricists in the history of hip-hop, but also one of hip-hop’s most unique personalities. MF DOOM began his career as a member of KMD. KMD was a trio which included DOOM (then known as Zev Love X) Subroc (DOOM’s brother), and Onyx.
Carlos Ketohou, who is the director of a private newspaper known as L’Indépendant Express (Independent Express) was recently arrested at his home. Prior to the arrest he reported that two female ministers were caught stealing golden spoons and forks at a party hosted by a banking institution.
This action is coming from a regime which has a history of harassing journalists. In 2003, Togo was ranked as one of the worst places in the world to be a journalist. Ten years later, in 2013, the government of Togo fired rubber bullets and teargas at journalists who were protesting new censorship…
Brigitte Kafui Adjamagbo-Johnson was one of two opposition leaders who were arrested and detained in Togo last week. She is currently facing charges for “harming national security and associating with criminals”. Darius Atsoo, the lawyer who represented Adjamagbo-Johnson stated that the charges lacked strong evidence. Adjamagbo-Johnson is being accused of threatening national security in Togo. Her true offense was daring to speak out against the government of Faure Gnassingbé.
Despite Faure Gnassingbe’s long record of human rights violations, the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) decided to gift Faure with $35 million. Despite the talk about reforms in Togo and improvements in governance, Faure has demonstrated once again the true nature of his dictatorial government. Togo’s MCC Program began recently as the government in Togo is coming under increasing scrutiny over the arrest and interrogation of opposition leaders Brigitte Kafui Adjamagbo-Johnson and Gérard Dodji Djossou. This is the latest example of political repression in a nation that has been under the rule of an oppressive dictatorship since 1967.
In September the dictator of Togo appointed the nation’s first female prime minister, Victoire Tomegah-Dogbe. Dogbe is one of a number of women who were recently appointed to ministerial positions in Togo. Essozimna Marguerite Gnakade was named as the nation’s first defense minister. In total, women comprise of 30% of the ministerial positions in the government of Togo.
These appointments represent more of the same in Togo. For example, Gnakade is serving as head of the defense ministry, but she has no prior military experience. Her qualification is that she was the wife of Ernest Gnassingbé, the deceased brother of…
“For me, the restrictions under COVID-19 bring back childhood memories of growing up under the military regime in Togo: of parents rushing home by 7pm to avoid the patrols; of one of my cousins suffering brain damage after violating the curfew; of hearing stories of soldiers terrorising civilians, robbing homes and businesses, and engaging in rape and murder. I remember being told that we ought to thank President Gnassingbé Eyadéma for maintaining peace and stability, even as tens of thousands of people fled the country.” -Farida Nabourema
The Gnassingbé family has held power in Togo since 1967. During that period they have managed to make Togo one of the poorest and most miserable countries in the world. In recent years — due in large part to the protests which began in 2017 — this dynasty has come under increasing international scrutiny and has been scrambling to try to improve its image. This has included holding local elections for the first time in 30 years in 2019. The government also paid $1,500 an hour to a firm in D.C. to improve the government’s tainted international image.
I read recently that the regime in Togo is boasting that it is the second best reformer in Africa. This claim is based on the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC)’s scorecard. Togo validated 15 out of the 20 indicators on the MCC’s scorecard for 2021. This placed Togo second behind Cape Verde among African countries.The the five indicators where Togo performed best are business start-ups, primary education expenditures, freedom of information, fiscal policy, and access to credit. The scorecard also noted significant improvements were recorded in other key indicators, such as control of corruption, land rights, and rule of law.
Dwayne Wong (Omowale) is a Guyanese born Pan-Africanist, author, and law student.