U.N. Commission on Human Rights, Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, U.N. Doc. E/CN.4/1994/31 (1994)(Nigel Rodley, Special Rapporteur).


Urgent appeals

533. On 6 May 1993 the Special Rapporteur sent an urgent appeal to the Government on behalf of the following persons: Latévi Prosper Lawson, Laté Jean Lawson, Jules Gagli, Rosali Gagli, Koffi Agbali, Sossouvi Afatchawo, Kossi Amedegounou, Koudjo Atsu, Kodzo Akakpo, Kossi Assignon, Alphonse Adjeovi, Agbévé Toyo, Komi Kpetigo, Sévi Sadi, Antoine Aboudou, Kossi Fiagnon, Folly Kuegan Yao Agbagnon, Tchassé Koumi Koffi Toyo, Ahamadou Boukari, Komi Hounkpati, Ekue Koulepato, Folly Ananou and Kokou Gakoto. According to the information received, these persons were arrested in Lomé several days after an attack on 25 March 1993 against the residence of President Gnassingbé Eyadéma. After their arrest, they were reportedly taken to the premises of the Lomé gendarmerie, where they were allegedly tortured.

534. With respect to this case the Government informed the Special Rapporteur that an investigation was being conducted in order to establish the responsibility of the above-mentioned persons in the attack carried out against the "Camp du Régiment Interarmes Togolais". Latévi Prosper Lawson, Jules Gagli, Kossi Amedegounou, Kodjo Akakpo, Kossi Assignon, Antoine Aboudou, Ekué Prosper Koulepato, Folly Ananou and Folly Kuegan had, however, been released from detention. Rosalie Gagli had been released on probation. Alphonse Adjeoui, Agbévé Toyo, Kossi Fiagnon and Sossouvi Afatchauo had been arrested on theft charges. Komi Kpetigo was charged with drug trafficking and Jean Laté was not known to the police or the gendarmerie.

535. The Government reply was transmitted to the source, which confirmed that most of the civilians arrested had subsequently been released. It observed, however, that the Togolese authorities did not appear to provide any response to allegations that those arrested were subjected to torture or ill-treatment, nor to have opened or carried out any investigation into those allegations.

536. On 3 September 1993 the Special Rapporteur sent an urgent appeal concerning a group of about 40 persons said to have been arrested on 26 August 1993 by the security forces in Agbandi and Diguine (central Togo) in connection with the disturbances which took placed after the results of the presidential election were announced. The detainees were allegedly beaten at the time of their arrest and then taken to the Blitta gendarmerie, where they were all locked into a cell designed to hold five prisoners. The next day, 15 of them were reportedly found dead, and four others were alleged to have died later. It was also reported that about 20 of the detainees were transferred to the Char prison in northern Togo. Fears were expressed that they might be subjected to torture or ill-treatment.

537. Another urgent appeal was sent to the Government, on 7 October 1993, on behalf of Kokou Okesson Mbooura, a teacher in Kétao, reportedly arrested on 27 August 1993 in Blitta while trying to locate a member of his family arrested the previous day in connection with the disturbances that broke out in Agbandi at the end of August. He was allegedly being held incommunicado at the Kara gendarmerie in the north of the country and fears were expressed that he might be tortured or ill-treated.

538. On 13 October 1993 the Government informed the Special Rapporteur that some people had been arrested at Agbandi on 26 August 1993 for having damaged electoral equipment and had been taken to the Brigade de Gendarmerie in Blitta. Kokou Okesson Mboura was one of the persons who visited the detainees. Also on 26 August some of them had been poisoned after eating food provided by visitors. Kokou Okesson Mboura had been arrested as he was delivering food containing syringes to one detainee. According to the report made by a toxicologist the syringes contained a very dangerous poison. The judicial authorities of Sokode had issued an order of detention against him and he had been taken to the civil prison in Kara. He had never complained before the judge about ill-treatment and received regular visits from his wife. He could also have access to his lawyer. The latter, however, had not yet asked the judge for permission to see his client.

539. In the light of the response provided by the Government the source stated that, without disputing the findings of the police laboratory, its main concern arose from the fact that no autopsies were carried out on the bodies of those who died, either to investigate allegations of torture or to establish the cause of death. The Government reply did not contain any response to allegations that the detainees died as a result of torture, ill-treatment and asphyxiation after 40 of them were crammed into a small cell. No inquiry into these serious allegations appeared to have been carried out.

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