EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AFR 57/04/94
UA 326/94 "Disappearance", Fear of Extrajudicial Killing 7 September 1994
TOGO David BRUCE, civil servant, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Amnesty International is gravely concerned about the "disappearance" of David
Bruce, a civil servant, on 6 September 1994 in Lomé, the capital of Togo.
His current whereabouts are unknown and Amnesty International fears that he
has been arbitrarily arrested and may be at risk of extrajudicial execution.
According to reports, David Bruce was stopped in his car in the Aguényivé suburb
of capital, Lomé, by three men travelling in a mini-bus. The assailants, one
of whom was armed with a machine-gun, forced David Bruce to accompany them.
The mini-bus was apparently followed by two military vehicles. The assailants
told a passenger who was travelling with David Bruce, but who was not abducted,
that David Bruce would be taken to the Gendarmerie headquarters. However,
subsequent inquiries did not provide confirmation that he had been taken to
the Gendarmerie. Amnesty International believes that his abductors may have
been working in collusion with members of the Togolese Armed Forces.
It appears that David Bruce may have been targeted because of his activities
during the political transition period in Togo. Between 1991 and 1993 he was
a senior advisor to the President of the High Council of the Republic, (HCR)
Haut Conseil de la République. This provisional body was set up to govern the
country following the National Conference in 1991 in the run-up to presidential
and legislative elections which took place in August 1993 and February 1994
respectively. Many political activists, including those involved with the
transitional government, have been the victim of harassment, intimidation,
assassination and attempted assassination at the hands the Togolese Armed
Forces, whose lack of impartiality and their explicit support for President
Eyadéma and his party, the Assembly of the Togolese People, Rassemblement du
peuple togolais (RPT), were repeatedly demonstrated during the transition
Amnesty International is appealing to the Togolese authorities to carry out
an immediate investigation into the "disappearance" of David Bruce, in order
to establish his whereabouts and the identity of those responsible for his
Amnesty International also urges the Togolese authorities to urgently
demonstrate their total opposition to illegal detention and extrajudicial
execution; the government should make it clear to all members of the police,
military and other security forces that such human rights violations will not
be tolerated under any circumstances.
A new government is in power in Togo following the country's first ever
multi-party elections in February 1994. Since the new government came to power,
insecurity in Lomé has continued and recent information suggests that political
activists are still being harassed and intimidated by members of the Togolese
Armed Forces or by armed groups and individuals who are believed to be working
in collusion with the Togolese Armed Forces.
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