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UA 326/94 - Togo: "disappearance" / fear of extrajudicial killing: David Bruce

, Index number: AFR 57/004/1994

There is concern for the safety of David Bruce, a civil servant in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, after he was abducted on 6 September 1994 by armed men, believed to be in collusion with the armed forces. A witness claimed that the men stated they were taking David Bruce to the Gendarmerie headquarters. His current whereabouts are unknown. It is believed he may have been targeted because of his activities during the political transition period when between 1991 and 1993 he was a senior adviser to the President of the High Council of the Republic (HCR).

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AFR 57/04/94
Distr: UA/SC
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
period.
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
abduction.
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.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
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.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail
letters either in French, English or in your own language:
2
- expressing concern about the "disappearance" on 6 September of David Bruce,
a civil servant at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who was abducted at gun-point
by unidentified assailants, believed to be working in collusion with members
of the Togolese Armed Forces;
- stating Amnesty International's fears that David Bruce has been arbitrarily
arrested and may be at risk of extrajudicial execution;
- urging 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 abduction;
- calling on the Togolese authorities to urgently demonstrate their total
opposition to illegal detention and extrajudicial execution by the security
forces and its commitment to bring those responsible for such acts to justice.
APPEALS TO
President:
Son Excellence Monsieur le Général Gnassingbé Eyadéma
Président de la République
Avenue de la Marina
Lomé, Togo
Telegrams: Président de la République, Lomé, Togo
Faxes: + 228 21 18 97; + 228 21 32 04
Telexes: 5319, 5419, 5201 TMS THG
Salutation: Monsieur le Président / Dear President
Prime Minister
Monsieur Edem Kodjo
Premier ministre
La Primature
Lomé, Togo
Telegrams: Premier ministre, Lomé, Togo
Faxes: + 228 21 20 40; + 228 21 08 50
Salutation: Monsieur le Premier ministre / Dear Prime Minister
Secretary of State responsible for security
Monsieur le Colonel Seyi MEMENE
Secrétaire d'Etat auprès du ministre de l'intérieur
Ministère de l'intérieur
Lomé
Togo
COPIES OF YOUR APPEALS TO:
Minister of Foreign Affairs:
Monsieur Boumbera Alassounouma
Ministre des Affaires étrangères et
de la coopération
Ministère des Affaires étrangères et
de la coopération
Place du Monument aux morts
Lomé, Togo
Minister for Human Rights
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Maître Djovi Gally
Ministre des droits de l'homme,
Ministère des droits de l'homme
Lomé, Togo
and to diplomatic representatives of Togo accredited to your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 19 October 1994.

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