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.
Faure has been the president of Togo since 2005. He was installed in power after his father, the previous dictator, died. Since 1967, Togo has been ruled by the same family. Since that time, the Gnassingbé has engaged in every human right violation imaginable. This has included murder, torture, and arbitrary arrest to name but a few. In recent years the government of Togo has even resorted to forms of digital repression such as shutting down the internet and engage in digital spying of activists.
After the military placed Faure in power in 2005, pressure from the international community forced Faure to hold elections that year. More than 500 Togolese citizens were killed as a result of electoral violence. Faure’s hands are stained with the blood of those 500 individuals, as well as the many other Togolese citizens who have had to suffer under 15 years of Faure’s presidency. That suffering has been so immense that Togo managed to be ranked as the unhappiest country in the world.
Those of us who desire to see a free and democratic Togo are calling for Adjamagbo-Johnson to be released and for the charges against her to be dropped. Fifteen years of oppression and abuse under Faure Gnassingbé is enough.
Dwayne is the author of several books on the history and experiences of African people, both on the continent and in the diaspora. His books are available through Amazon. You can also follow Dwayne on Facebook and Twitter.