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Prolonged detention of political leaders in Togo stirs up concern

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After more than forty-eight hours of arrest and several hours of interrogation, opposition leaders Brigitte Kafui Adjamagbo-Johnson and Gérard Dodji Djossou are still in police custody at the Central Intelligence and Criminal Investigation Unit.

They are charged with criminal conspiracy and breach of internal state security. Africanews, correspondent took a look to the story.

A day after the arrest of the two leaders of the Dynamique Monseigneur Kpodzro, the only official statement we were able to obtain was from the public prosecutor, who spoke of an investigation that was opened, concerning an allegged plan to destabilise the institutions of the Republic. Brigitte Kafui Adjamagbo-Johnson is accused of being in possession of some documents relating to the alleged plan to destabilize the country. According to the prosecutor's statement, she was previously the subject of "legal proceedings relating to similar facts and placed under judicial supervision".

A move deemed unjustified, disguised as criminal proceeding, according to Their lawyer, Darius Atsoo deemed the move unjustified, disguised as criminal proceedings

"The Togolese judiciary has very often prosecuted politically committed Togolese citizens for alleged criminal plans aimed at destabilizing the country.

In 2013, for example, leaders, activists and followers of the ''Sauvons le Togo'' group were arrested and imprisoned in connection with the burning of the markets of Kara in the north of the country and Lomé." Serge Koffi futher stressed.

After more than five (5) years of detention, some were released in 2018 without any light having been shed on the circumstances of this case. 

This arrest of the two opponents seems, according to Amnesty International, to be strictly linked to the call for demonstration and appears to be a further illustration of the authorities' desire to silence the opposition and dissident voices.

Amnesty International, says the arrest of the two opposition leaders, appears to to be attempt by the authorities to silence the opposition and dissident voices.