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with request for inclusion in the agenda for a debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law

pursuant to Rule 135 of the Rules of Procedure

on the situation in Togo (2019/2518(RSP))

Elena Valenciano, Pier Antonio Panzeri, Maria Arena on behalf of the S&D Group
NB: This motion for a resolution is available in the original language only.

European Parliament resolution on the situation in Togo (2019/2518(RSP))  

The European Parliament,

-having regard to its previous resolutions on Togo,

-having regard to the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights (ACHPR), Resolution on the Human Rights Situation in Togo – ACHPR/Res. 397 (LXII) 2018, adopted at the 62nd Ordinary Session, from 25 April to 9 May 2018,

-having regard to the statement on the Human Rights Situation in Togo, issued by FIDH at the 62nd Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights (ACHPR), from 25 April to 9 May 2018,

-having regard to the EU Annual Reports on Human Rights and Democratisation (country reports), 2017 on Togo,

-having regard to the final communiqué of the 27 June 2018 session of the Inter-Togolese Dialogue, issued by the Presidents of the Republics of Ghana and Guinea in their capacity as facilitators mandated by the ECOWAS,

-having regard to the report issued by the Togolese League for Human Rights (LTDH) in July 2018,

-having regard to a joint declaration by the Embassies of Germany, the USA and France, the Delegation of the European Union and the Coordination of the System of the United Nations in Togo (the G5) as of 13 November 2018,

-having regard to the communiqué of the 19th session of Togo-EU political dialogue, held in Lomé on 20 November 2018,

-having regard, to the Preliminary Statement of African Union Election Observation Mission to the Legislative Elections of 20 December 2018 in the Togolese Republic, 21 December 2018,

-having regard to the outcome of the 22nd ECOWAS-EU Political Dialogue Meeting,

-having regard to the universal declaration of Human Rights

-having regard to the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights (ACHPR), Guidelines on Freedom of Association and Assembly in Africa, September 2007 and Guidelines for the Policing of Assemblies by Law Enforcement Officials in Africa, March 2017,

-having regard to the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, January 2007,

-having regard to the minutes of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Togo of 27 October 2017,

-having regard to the African charter on human and peoples’ rights of 1981

-having regard to the United Nations International Charter of Human Rights,

-having regard to Article 9 of the Togolese Electoral Code,

-having regard to the Cotonou Agreement

A.Whereas a disputed legislative elections (originally planned for July but were delayed to allow for facilitated talks between the opposition and the government), were held in Togo on 20 December 2018; whereas as a result of the lack of democratic reforms the coalition of 14 opposition parties (C14), consequently decided to boycott the elections citing irregularities in preparations;

B.whereas Togo has been affected by massive protests between August 2017 and 2018 to demand the resignation of President Faure Gnassingbé, who has been in power since 2005, an end to the 50-year rule by the Gnassingbe family, and a constitutional reform, including a two-term limit for presidents as well as the re-introduction to the 1992 constitution, along with the organisation of a referendum on constitutional amendments;

C.whereas on 1 August the 53rd ECOWAS Summit of Heads of State and Governments, after mediation by Guinea’s Presidents, Nana Akufo-Addo and Alpha Condé, put forward a roadmap, and called on all political actors and the government to work to adopt the two-turn election model for Presidential elections, reduce to two the maximum number of presidential mandates, recompose the Constitutional Court, set a maximum number of terms for its members and reform the electoral process; whereas these recommendations were welcomed by the government and opposition of Togo, but ultimately were not implemented by the government;

D.whereas Togolese government’s continued resistance to restore the 1992 constitution and other reforms, has led to a mass anti-government rallies repeatedly been held across the country; whereas these protests occasionally led to a violent reaction of security forces (police and military), while observers reported the presence of armed pro-government militias and there were worrying reports of intimidation and ill-treatment of detainees;

E.whereas as tension rose, the EU, together with the locally represented DE, FR, USA and UN, issued three joint local statements (22/9, 20/10 and 7/11, 2017) deploring the violence and encouraging dialogue;

F.whereas ahead of the elections, the government announced the establishment of a special security force made of 8000 police officers to maintain peace and ensure the security of people and goods throughout the country, ahead, during, and after the legislative elections, as well as to secure political rallies, polling stations, electoral material, and political figures;

G.whereas the Embassies of Germany, the USA and France, the Delegation of the European Union and the Coordination of the System of the United Nations in Togo (the G5) as of 13 November 2018 called on the Coalition of 14 opposition parties (C14) of Togo to encourage their supporters to register as voters, in line with the recommendations made by the ECOWAS, for the December 2018 elections to be fair, transparent, and credible, the opposition called for 10 days of protest in the run-up to the vote but the government banned the action on security grounds;

H.whereas according to the Togolese League of Human Rights (LTDH) between August 19 2017 and July 20 2018 during demonstrations against the government a total of 22 people were killed, 941 wounded and 472 arrested; whereas the human rights situation in Togo has deteriorated since 2017;

I.whereas since the adoption of multiparty politics in Togo, 1992, major opposition parties boycotted Togo’s first three legislative elections due to the lack of a level-playing field,

J.whereas in the 2007 and 2013 the opposition participated and despite shortcomings, for the first time held the ruling party to less than 50 percent of the vote,

K.whereas according to the initial results, the ruling parties despite a loss of seats, will maintain a majority, and whereas the 59% turnout of the elections was lower that at previous elections;

L.whereas in 2002, the legislature amended the constitution to remove presidential term limits and change elections from two rounds to a single-round plurality vote system;

M.whereas since 2017 hundreds of thousands of Togolese took to the streets, calling for a constitutional referendum to block President Gnassingbé from seeking a fourth term, but whereas these protests were brutally suppressed by police forces poverty, lack of economic, democratic and social progress, lack of human rights, as well as corruption remain eminent in Togo and keep the country from fulfilling its full potential,

N.whereas human rights organisations were critical of a new cybersecurity law passed on 07 December 2018, which “significantly restricts freedom of expression" with "vague terrorism and treason related provisions";

O.whereas as a result of the intensified violence and prosecution by the government a number of Togolese citizens had to leave their homes to seek exile abroad;

1.Is deeply concerned at the increasingly unstable situation in Togo,

2.Strongly criticises the government for not living up to its promises of democratic reforms,

3.Condemns the violence and human rights violations committed by government forces and condemns the lack of impunity for crimes committed, urges the Togolese authorities to put an end to them in accordance with their international commitments,

4.Recalls that Togo made a commitment under the Cotonou Agreement to respecting democracy, the rule of law and human rights principles, which include freedom of expression, assembly and access to the media, good governance and transparency in political office,

5.Urges the authorities, and primarily the President, to abide by his international obligations, to guarantee human rights and fundamental freedoms, and to exercise the task of governing with the strictest respect for the rule of law,

6.Commends the mediation efforts of the ECOWAS in August 2018 and call on the Togolese government to fully implement without delay the recommendations put forward by ECOWAS and to do their utmost to include all relevant stakeholders in dialogue on necessary democratic reforms in the country,

7.Urges all political actors to engage in a peaceful and constructive dialogue and to prevent any deepening of the current political crisis or refrain from further violence and provocations; encourages the opposition and civil society actors to actively stay engaged and seek constructive and non-violent solutions to work for a more democratic and constructive future for Togo,

8.Calls on the Government of Togo to uphold its citizens’ human rights, notably their freedom of expression, peaceful assembly, and internet freedom and to ensure that all those arrested during demonstrations are afforded the right to due process,

9.Urges the Togolese Government to guarantee, without undue restrictions, the right of citizens to demonstrate peacefully throughout the Togolese territory, on the understanding that the circulation of illicit firearms, a phenomenon facing almost all States of the world, cannot be used as a pretext to prohibit or unduly restrict manifestations,

10.Calls for the immediate release of all demonstrators and activists detained for their opinions,

11.Calls for an independent and objective investigation into the allegations of serious violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms, and underlines the need to make sure that all those found responsible are brought to justice,

12.Calls on international organisations, such as in particular ECOWAS, the AU and the UN to strive for a mediation process to ensure a proper inclusion of all democratic forces in order to ensure meaningful and needed democratic reforms,

13.Calls on the Togolese authorities to refrain from future restrictions on access to mobile telecommunications networks and the internet, a practice that undermines the civil and political, as well as the economic, social and cultural rights of the Togolese people and their interlocutors outside Togo,

14.Calls on Togolese political parties and civil society organisations to educate, sensitise and properly supervise their members, supporters and audiences, with a view to preventing any violent or otherwise reprehensible acts or remarks,

15.Urges the Togolese authorities to take measures to reassure exiles and IDPs who have fled repression or threats and to facilitate their return to their places of departure, in liaison with the relevant UN agency and non-governmental organisations;,international governments willing to support this process,

16.Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the secretariat of ECOWAS and the AU, and the Government and Parliament of Togo.


Letzte Aktualisierung: 15. Januar 2019Rechtlicher Hinweis - Datenschutzbestimmungen