• Campaigns

UA 125/91 - Togo: Unlawful killings: Milehoho Akoko, Marcel Gokou and at least 24 others

, Index number: AFR 57/002/1991

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AFR 57/02/91
Distr: UA/SC
UA 125/91 Unlawful Killings 12 April 1991
TOGO Milehoho Akoko
Marcel Gokou
and at least 24 others
The people named above are reported to be among a group of at least 26 people
have been unlawfully killed by soldiers on about 9 and 10 April 1991 at the
time of anti-government demonstrations in Lomé. Their bodies were discovered
in a lagoon on 11 April 1991 suggesting that the soldiers responsible for the
killings tried to hide the corpses soon after the killings had taken place,
rather than admit that the deaths had occurred. Children and women are among
those killed. The brother of one of the dead women, Milehoho Akoko, is reported
to have said that he had seen her being beaten up by soldiers at a checkpoint
during anti-government demonstrations in Lomé's Ba district on 10 April 1991.
No details are available yet about the circumstances in which the killings
took place. In addition to these unacknowledged killings, two young men were
killed by soldiers on 5 april when they tried to topple a statue of President
Gnassinghé Eyadema, situated next to the headquarters of the Rassemblement
du Peuple togolais (RPF), Alliance of Togolese People, the ruling party in
Togo.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
The killings occurred in the context of growing opposition to President Eyadema.
Following a week of pro-democracy demonstrations in mid-March 1991 the head
of state met with opposition leaders on 18 March and accepted their demands:
a general amnesty for imprisoned government opponents, the convening of a
national political conference and rapid move towards multi-party democracy.
A policeman and a 12 year-old-boy are reported to have been killed during
a demonstration on 16 March 1991 and others are reported to have been injured.
Members of the armed forces who dispersed the demonstrations are reported
to have used unnecessary force against the demonstrators who were initially
making calls for multi-party democracy without using
violence. Rioting later broke out in various parts of Lomé. Maître Yawo
Agboyibor, a human rights and pro-democracy activist, was subjected to serious
threats by members of the security service. On 16 March 1991, his two cars
were burnt and a group of at least 50 armed men came to his house, and when
they failed to find him, they vandalized and burnt it. His wife and one cousin
were severely beaten by the assaillants. Witnesses have alleged that some
of them were soldiers.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Telegrams/telexes/express and airmail letters:
- expressing concern about the apparently unlawful killing of Milehoho Akoko,
Marcel Gokou and up to 24 others whose bodies have recently been found in a
lagoon in Lomé;
2
- expressing concern that members of the security forces appear to have tried
to hide the bodies of civilians they had killed, thereby avoiding being held
responsible and accountable for the deaths, and suggesting the deaths were
problably unlawful;
- calling on the government to initiate an immediate and impartial investigation
into the killings with a view to the prosecution of military or security
personnel found to be responsible either for unlawful killings or other
offences.
APPEALS TO:
Son Excellence
Général Gnassingbe EYADEMA
Président de la République
Palais présidentiel
Avenue de la Marina
Lomé, Togo
Telegrams: President Eyadema, Lome, Togo
Telexes: 5201 presitogo
Son Excellence
Monsieur Ayaoui ADODO
Ministre des Affaires étrangères et de la Coopération
Ministère des Affaires étrangères et de la Coopération
Lomé, Togo
Telegrams: Ministre Affaires Etrangeres Adodo, Lome,
Togo
Telexes: 5239 DIPLOTOGO
Son Excellence
Général Bitokotipou GNAGNINIM
Ministre de la Justice,
Garde des Sceaux
Ministère de la Justice
Rue Colonel de Roux
Lomé, Togo
Telegrams: Ministre Justice Gnagninim, Lome, Togo
Son Excellence
Général Yao Mawuliklimi AMEYI
Ministre de l'Intérieur et de la Sécurité
Ministère de l'Intérieur et de la Sécurité
Lomé, Togo
Telegrams: Ministre Interieur Ameyi, Lome, Togo
Président de la Commission
nationale des droits de l'homme
Commission nationale des droits
de l'homme
62 Avenue du 24 janvier
BP 3222
Lomé, TOGO
Telegrams: President Commission Nationale
droits de l'homme, Lome, Togo
3
Telex; 5074 AGBOY-TO
COPIES TO: diplomatic representatives of Togo in your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat
or your section office if sending appeals after 24 May 1991.

View report in English