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UA 380/90 - Central African Republic: legal concern: Simon-Narcisse Bozanga, Pierre Debato, Patrice Endjimoungou, Francois Fara-Frond, Abel Goumba, Henri Maidou, Francois Pehoua, Aristide Sokambi, Mbrod Tchakpa

, Index number: AFR 19/006/1990

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AFR 19/06/90
Distr: UA/SC
UA 380/90 Legal Concern 20 September 1990
CENTRAL AFRICAN : Belibanda, Economics professor and Deputy Dean of Faculty
REPUBLIC of Economics
Simon-Narcisse Bozanga, magistrate and former Prime Minister
Pierre Debato, journalist
Patrice Endjimoungou, teacher and former POC
François Fara-Frond, former Minister of State
Abel Goumba, Professor of Medicine and former POC
Henri Maïdou, former Vice-President
François Pehoua, former Minister and Central Bank director
Aristide Sokambi, businessman
Mbrod Tchakpa, journalist
================================================================================
The nine people named above are among more than 20 arrested on 12 September 1990
by members of the security forces while meeting at the house of Aristide Sokambi,
reportedly to organize a pro-democracy demonstration scheduled for 20 September
1990 in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic. They are reported
to be held at the Bangui headquarters of the National Gendarmerie on Avenue Nasser.
Abel Goumba and Henri Maïdou are reported to have appeared before a magistrate
on 15 September but are not known to have been charged
with any offence.
Amnesty International is concerned that those arrested are detained because
they met to organize a peaceful demonstration and are not known to have used or
advocated violence. They appear to be prisoners of conscience and Amnesty
International is calling for their immediate and unconditional release. The
organization is also concerned that these prisoners, like other political detainees
held in the Central African Republic, may be subjected to cruel, inhuman and degrading
treatment while in custody.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Since early 1990 many prominent people including those arrested on 12 September
1990 have made public their demand that a national conference be held to pave the
way for multi-party democracy. Only the ruling Rassemblement démocratique
centrafricain (RDC), Central African Democratic Alliance, is legal under the terms
of the country's 1986 constitution. In May 1990 President André Kolingba rejected
the demands. Several people suspected of supporting demands for the national
conference were detained for short periods between May and August 1990.
For several months the proponents of the national conference and multi-party
democracy have been writing memoranda and "open letters" to the President about
their demands. They have formed what is known as a Coordination Committee for the
national conference. These latest arrests appear to be a result of the increasing
demand for multi-party democracy in the Central African Republic and an escalation
of government repression of such demands.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Telegrams/telexes/express and airmail letters in FRENCH, if
possible:
- expressing concern at the arrest of more than 20 people, naming some, apparently
because they met to organize a peaceful demonstration;
2
- expressing concern that their arrests appear to be part of official policy to
suppress basic human rights, in particular freedom of expression, freedom of
association and freedom of assembly;
- requesting information whether they have been charged with any specific offences;
- pointing our that if they are imprisoned for having held a meeting to discuss
peaceful demonstrations then they are considered by Amnesty International to be
prisoners of conscience who should be released immediately and unconditionally;
- seeking assurances that the detainees are not being subjected to cruel, inhuman
and degrading treatment, and urging the authorities to bring an end to the
ill-treatment of prisoners and allow them access to visits by their relatives, legal
counsel and medical care.
APPEALS TO:
Son Excellence
Général d'Armée André KOLINGBA
Président de la République
Palais de la Renaissance
Bangui
République centrafricaine
Telexes: 5300 PRESICAB RC or 5201 VICEPRE RC
Telegrams: President KOLINGBA, Bangui, RCA
Monsieur le Lieutenant-Colonel Christophe GRELOMBE
Ministre de la Défense
Ministère de la Défense
Bangui
République centrafricaine
Telexes: 5213 DIPLOMA RC (via Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
Telegrams: Ministre GRELOMBE, Bangui, RCA
Monsieur Hughes DOBOZENDI
Ministre de la Justice et Garde des Sceaux
Ministère de la Justice
BP 371
Bangui
République centrafricaine
Telexes: 5213 DIPLOMA RC (via Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
Telegrams: Ministre DOBOZENDI, Bangui, RCA
COPIES TO:
Monsieur Thomas MAPOUKA
Ministre de la Sécurité et de l'Administration du territoire
Ministère de la Sécurité
Bangui
République centrafricaine
Monsieur Laurent GOMINA-PAMPALI
Ministre des Affaires étrangères et de la coopération internationale
3
Ministère des Affaires étrangères
BP 936
Bangui
République centrafricaine
and to diplomatic representatives of Central African Republic in your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat, or your
section office, if sending appeals after 1 November 1990.

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