We, the participants of the Forum of NGOs in preparation of the 37th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the 11th African Human Rights Book Fair, held in Banjul, the Gambia, from April 27th to May 11th, 2005,
The Forum of Human Rights Defenders NGOs meeting in Banjul expresses its deep concern with regard to the political context in which the Presidential elections of 24th April were held.
It notes that massive irregularities marred the conduct of the elections, confirming the worries expressed by most observers of Togo’s politics.
It notes that once again, the interests of the people of Togo were sacrificed to the will of a group seeking to monopolize power and that, once again, the people’s thirst for political change has been scorned.
It denounces vigorously the passivity of the international and sub-regional community, particularly the attitude of France which hurriedly reached its decision before ECOWAS observers who had monitored the elections produced their mission report.
The Forum of NGOs is worried about the violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms which have characterized the political and social life since the coup d’etat of Faure Gnassingbe and which have worsened since the proclamation of the election results.
It calls upon the attention of the international community, particularly ECOWAS, with regard to the eruption of violence and police and military repression of the civilian population.
It calls upon and urges the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights to urgently take appropriate measures and actions in order to stop the serious violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
The Forum of NGOs calls for the reorganization of credible and transparent elections, taking into consideration the legitimate aspirations of the people of Togo.
It finally expresses its solidarity with the fallen victims under the bullets of the repressive forces.
Done at Banjul, April 26th, 2005