The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) welcomes the announcement by the Togolese authorities that 44 demonstrators arrested and imprisoned in connection with the socio-political unrest that has rocked the country since August 2017, have been released.
A communiqué issued by the Cabinet of Ministers on January 30, 2019, announced the release of 44 prisoners made up of demonstrators and political activists.
It is the second such amnesty granted to persons detained in connection with the serial protests demanding improved living conditions and reforms of Togo’s electoral laws. In February 2018, a number of 45 detainees were released as a gesture of reconciliation by the government. The pardon followed a dialogue between the government and opposition mediated by Ghana’s President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo on behalf of ECOWAS.
The opposition coalition made up of 14 political parties, have welcomed the amnesty. They have, however, vowed to continue the protests until their demands are met. They have also called for the release of other political prisoners.
The local press say there may be about hundred demonstrators and activists still held in detention, including Foly Satchivi and Assiba Johnson.
The MFWA welcomes the release of political detainees and appeals to the government in Togo to release other demonstrators and opposition political figures who are still in detention. We also urge the government to continue to dialogue to resolve the political issues in the country to ensure peace.