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Benin: Three trade unionists imprisoned for nearly a year without charge or trial

, Index number: AFR 14/001/1993

Basile Houndjo, Etienne Houndjo and Houngue Mahoussi, activists from the peasants' union MIGBE-AYA , have been detained for 11 months in the civilian jail at Athieme, where conditions are reputedly bad. AI believes that they are probably prisoners of conscience, imprisoned for exercising their civil and political rights and perhaps also for membership of a union which has been protesting against the payment of a municipal tax since 1992. Their detention appears to be connected with an incident in November 1992 when four people, including two gendarmes, attacked a shop but were repulsed and apprehended by the shopkeeper's family. Leonard Hounkpevi, the shopkeeper, sought advice from the MIGBE-AYA union about prosecuting the gendarmes involved in the attack.

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