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Free Alassane Moussbaou! Stop the deportations to Togo

Free Alassane Moussbaou! Stop the deportations to Togo

Info in deutsch: Fax Campaign and Demonstration in Schwerin on Monday,9th of January 12noon at the Train Station.


Appeal from the “International campaign against the dictatorship in Togo and in other African countries” and The Caravan group Hamburg during the Caravan Seminar in Wuppertal which took place on the 14th - 18th of December 2005.


A large group of refugees living in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern are under great pressure of being deported to Togo. The foreigner’s offices (Ausländeramt) are sending letters to the refugees telling them to leave Germany and travel back to their country soon. If they do not follow this order – the order to go back to dictatorship, to imprisonment, torture and persecution – the terror will execute what we know already: the German government will force them to leave. They will arrest the refugees and deport them. Most refugees from Togo in the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern are either already imprisoned for deportation or live in fear and panic of deportation. Therefore we are calling for solidarity with the refugees from Togo, that are facing deportation threat and against the German deportation policy. Not only refugees from Togo are in danger, but as well people from Cameroon and Ivory Coast. The Eydamea Regime has promised to the European governments that he will accept refugees from these countries to stay in Togo. The truth is that from there these refugees are sent back to the countries from where thy fled to Europe. Cameroon and Ivory Coast are not considered as safe countries by the German government but by deporting them to Togo, the responsible politicians and officials keep the white suites while deporting people to unsafe countries into persecution and torture. The Caravan group Hamburg (see contacts at the end) and the “International campaign against the dictatorship in Togo and in other African countries” coordinate the activities in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and await your immediate support and ideas. Further information on the campaign is available on the internet homepage of the Caravan (

Committee for the Defense of Alassane Moussbaou
C/o Brigittenstr. 5 , 20359 Hamburg
Tel: +49-(0)40-43 18 90 37 Fax: +49-(0)40-43 18 90 38
mail: or

Stop the collaboration of the German Offices
with the dictatorship in Togo and other African countries

In the last weeks over five asylum seekers from Togo have been deported from Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The officials from the alien offices (Ausländerbehörden) had scheduled the deportation of three Togolese for December 20, 2005. These persons avoided the attacks aiming at their lifes and did not appear at the airport. On the same day a delegation from the “International Campaign against the Dictatorship in Togo and other African Countries” and from “The Caravan for the Rights of Refugees and Migrants” protested against the criminal deportation practice in front of the Home Ministry of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in Schwerin. The Refugee Council (Flüchtlingsrat) of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern had invited to the action in Schwerin. It handed 320 letters to a representative of the home minister demanding the release of Alassane Moussbaou from deportation custody. Signatures of individuals demanding a general stop of deportations to Togo was given to the same representative as well. Expelling the responsibility from himself, the representative of the Home Ministry referred to the Federal Foreign Office (Auswärtiges Amt) that sees no problems for deportations to Togo.

Since years the Federal Foreign Office is constructing lies in this manner to deport and to strengthen the regime in Lomé. All evidence of Togolese organisations and lawyers proving the persecution and torture of deported refugees have been ignored. The “International Campaign against the Dictatorship in Togo and other African Countries” has always protested against the wrong country reports of the Federal Foreign Office. During a protest action in front of the Federal Foreign Office in spring 2004 a conversation took place with the responsible person of the office for West Africa. He started the conversation stating, that he knows how hard the situation in Togo is. The speaker of the Togolese opposition remarked that their being there is not because of the situation in Togo, but because of the support of Germany for the Togolese Dictatorship. The country reports of the Federal Foreign Office neglect the facts known to the office and gives a wrong picture of the situation. On the basis of these reports the judges of the administrative tribunals (Verwaltungsgerichte) reject the asylum demands of regime opponents from Togo.

In the “International Campaign against the Dictatorship in Togo and other African Countries” we have made the experience that no responsible official in direct conversation denies the existence of the tyranny imposed by the dictatorship in Togo, but no one derives the consequences in order to protect refugees from Togo. Disregarding all the facts the number of deportations is increased and their executions is accelerated. All the responsible German officials repel the responsibility by referring to other state offices.

For us all the offices are responsible: the local alien offices (Ausländerbehörden), the administrative tribunals (Verwaltungsgerichte), the Federal Office for Refugees and Migrants and the Federal Foreign Office. All of them can act! To deport persecuted people back into a dictatorship is criminal, no matter which laws apply nor what the boundary conditions dictate!

Therefore, is it essential for the “International Campaign against the Dictatorship in Togo and other African Countries” to state clearly, that no one can repel the responsibility. The classical excuses “We do only our job” or “We did not know…” can not be used after the experience of the Nazi Fascism. The relevance of the deportation policy, of the special racist laws, of the discrimination and the inhuman treatment of refugees as an indicator for the society’s progress or degeneration must be seen in its complete depth. Ignorance of, looking away from, or playing down the criminal acts is supporting the enemies of democracy and human rights.
Since the son of the old dictator, Faure Eyadema, took the power and continued strengthening the Eyadema dynasty in Togo the situation in Togo has become critical for the people. The offensive of the military and of the RPT militias for months has expelled ten thousands of people. Many hundreds of people have been killed. The raping, torture and injuries can not be counted. This is the incomplete fact of the first 10 month of Faure Eyadema’s ruling. The European governments want to mislead the public again and tell us, that in Togo the policy has changed, in order to prepare mass deportations and start with court case to withdraw asylum status (Wiederrufsverfahren). The intensification of these cases has been started after the implementation of the new immigration act (Zuwanderungsgesetz) in January 2005. The officials want to take away the secure residence permit for those people who got asylum years ago, because the reasons for asylum are supposedly not valid anymore. In the northern part of Germany 15 Togolese have received such official letters. Already in April 2004 the “International Campaign against the Dictatorship in Togo and other African Countries” warned the public and interpreted the mass deportation from the airport in Hamburg as a sign that no one is save in Germany anymore.
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern is special in persecution of Togolese refugees. Out of 1000 refugees living in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern 500 are facing immediate deportation threat. The administrative tribunal in Schwerin decides on a single day about more than 10 post-asylum cases (Asylfolgeanträge). The cases are terminated within minutes and the affected persons know that the negative decision had been made in advance. Because of the intensive cooperation between the German offices and the Togolese embassy the necessary documents for deportation could be prepared. Many refugees have been pushed into illegality and are in permanent fear of the police. The practice of the state generates a climate of terror and fear upon the refugees. One example that reflects the daily situation:
A woman, that was asked to leave the country, officially expressed her will to marry. The leader of the appropriate alien office (Ausländerbehörde) told her, that the permit to stay will be extended due to the coming wedding. For this reason she was asked to visit the office on the next day. She went back to the place where she lived, and was prepared to go to the office on the next day. On 3 am over ten policemen came to the place where she lived. They took position in front of the door and those of the neighbours. One of them knocked with the fist on the door. The woman opened the door and immediately fainted. Because she did not wake up, an ambulance was called after a while and she was brought to the hospital, where she was reanimated.
The Togolese refugees and the activists from the “International Campaign against the Dictatorship in Togo and other African Countries” continue fighting for their rights and for their life.
Everyone is asked to act and practice solidarity.

International Campaign for the struggle against the dictatorship in Togo and other African countries

The Violation of asylum and migration rights, as well as the system and the practice of deportation exercised by the European countries are contradictory to democracy. The racist deportation policy is a back up and an encouragement for the dictators in Africa and other parts of the world.

We as fighters against dictatorship, neocolonialism and imperialism restate that the universal declaration of human rights may not remain an illusion.

We are here because we are victims of slavery and slave trade. We are here because you colonized us. We are here because you are participating in questioning again our independence we achieved in years of arcrimonious struggles against the colonial powers.

We are here because colonialism and imperialism are destroying our African continent. The universal declaration of human rights may not remain an illusion. We have to fight together for the respect of human dignity.

In this regard we demand an immediate end to military aid and arms trade like it is happening in Sierra Leone, Angola, Burundi, Ruanda, Congo, Ivory Coast, etc.. We demand: No support for the sanguinary dictatorships like in Togo, Cameroon and other countries.

Presently the conutries who participated in the Berlin Conference in 1884 are exporting military equipment for more than 3 Billion Dollar every year to Africa.

It is a widely held belief that the wars in Africa are led by the African governments or by the rebel groups. But the European countries are directly involved and are benefiting from this. The wars in Angola, in Congo, in Sierra Leone, in Ivory Coast as well as the dictatorships in Togo and in Cameroon are some examples. Millions of people are dispersed, many are killed, mutilated or injured. All this is caused by the greed of the European companies for the natural resources like diamonds, gold, petroleum, etc.. They are exploiting the soil partly by sponsoring of armed groups and under the conditions of slavery.

We are here because you are collaborating with the dictatorial regimes in order to hinder any process of democratization in Africa.

We are here in the name of art. 3 of the universal declaration of human rights which declares: „Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.“

We require from all signers of the Berlin Conference to take political responsibility for the consequences of their colonial and neo-colonial policy. We demand the public recognition of their obligation for compensation by free entree to Europe and the legalization of all Africans residing in Europe. It is hardly possible to measure the wealth transfer coming from slavery, forced labour and exploitation of natural ressources.
Europe has achieved its wealthiness through colonial exploitation and continues plundering our continent. In a certain way the Africans are the owners of this wealthiness. Therefore it is obvious that Africans must have the right for a free and untroubled stay in Europe. In this sense the legalization of all Africans living in Europe is the first step.

Speech by Togolese activists during the protest march in the context of the international day for human rights 10th of december 2005 in Hamburg

Caravan for the Rights of Refugees and Migrants
Section North / Koordinationskreis Hamburg 37
c/o Brigittenstrasse 5
20359 Hamburg
Tel: 0049-(0)40-43 18 90
Fax: 0049-(0)40-43 18 90 38
mail: /

Press Release

Hamburg, May 26, 2004

"Night and Fog" (Nacht und Nebel) Action, Deportation of Opposition Activists from Hamburg to the Dictatorship in Togo Immigration officer lies to the public Large-scale police and immigration operation carried out with the protection of the darkness Prohibition of night flights suspended in order to execute human rights violations

On the night of May 25th to the 26th, 2004 the German border patrol (BGS) and the charter flight area of the Hamburg airport were transformed into a police fortress. The large-scale charter flight deporatation to Togo via Amsterdam was secretly carried out by well over hundred police officers, who were protected by the darkness. This operation was carried out in contradiction to statements made by Semkal, the Hamburg Foreign Authority's (Ausländerbehörde) press speaker, to human rights organizations and journalists. Haunting scenes could be observed at the airport: Patrols with shepherd dogs, officials with helmets and masks, bundles of plastic chains and new models of the torture helmets, which were introduced by the Ministry of the Interior after death of Ameer Agib in 1999. Immigration officials could be heard on the telephone: "We're deporting blacks to Africa." At 12:30 AM, a half hour after the start of the night flight prohibition, an airplane lands (according to eye-witness a machine of the Netherlands airline KLM).
Prisoners, arms bound and at least one with a helmet, are brought to the police transporters either individually or in pairs. The transporters (approx. 14) drive up in front of an exit gate, where the victims are quickly led into the cars and then brought to the runway. Then it becomes calm. Around 2:00 AM the airplane takes off into the night sky of Hamburg.

To our knowledge, four Togoan refugees from Hamburg, two from Berlin, one from Sachsen-Anhalt, and a Cameroonian refugee from Karlsruhe were forced onto the airplane. Several of the refugees known to us had already previously opposed their deportation to the Togo and dictatorship. At least three, according to their own statements, were abused in detention for this reason. Shortly prior to the deportation, one refugee informed his family that he was in the Hamburg airport with other refugees and that they would refuse to board the airplane.

The man from Cameroon was also an activist in an opposition group, just like those from Togo. He had participated in the protest occupation of the Embassy of Cameroon in Bonn, after which the Embassy had stated, that they would like to get the activists into their hands. Even though German authorities knew about this this action and the oppistional activites of the Togoan deportees against General Eyadema's Regime, the refugees asylum applications were denied.

The public is being fed misinformation and human beings, who require the protection of the Geneva Convention, are secretly and violently being delivered into the hands of their persecutors. Yesterday's police, immigration, and Ministry of the Interior operation, which at least six states were involved in (Baden Württemberg, Sachsen-Anhalt, Berlin, Niedersachsen, Schleswig-Hostein und Hamburg), is reminiscent of the "Night and Fog" actions of the Gestapo during the Nazi dictatorship.

The Caravan for the Rights of Refugees and Migrants, Perspective Togo e.V., Hamburg, and the Socialist Party of Iran (SPI) protest against the criminal practicces and human rights violations of the German authorities, which are not only to be seen in yesterday's massive deportation organized by Clearingstelle (Säuberungsstelle). We call for the mobilization of all
societal forces to stop these crimes against humanity which the German authorities are preparing and carrying out on a systematic and daily basis. We once again support the demand for an immediate stop of all deporations to Togo.

Caravan for the Rights of Refugees and Migrants
Koordinationskreis Hamburg

on June 19th - 22nd, 2004
at "Gendarmenmarkt" in Berlin/Mitte

against the criminal practice of deportation and the persecution of Togolese and Cameroonian political exile opposition by the German state.

Since the beginning of this year the persecution and deportation of refugees from Togo has increased massively. The peak level so far was the mass-deportation of 18 people from Togo and 26 from Cameroon, who were deported from Amsterdam under participation of Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, France and the UK. Germany was involved with the deportation of 15 persons. During the night of May 25th/26th the political refugees from Togo and Cameroon were forced, against their protest, to enter a plane (Eyewitnesses stated it was a KLM airplane from the Netherlands) by the use of beating, pepper spray, dogs, plastic shackles and the new model of the "Deportation-Torture-Helmet" (These new models were presented by the German Home Office, after Amir Ageeb had died of suffocation because of being brutalized by border police and the use of a bike-helmet during his deportation in 1999).

In the run-up a heavy mob of battle like police squad had invaded the deportation section of the JVA Fühlsbüttel, thrown the prisoners forcefully out of their bed onto the floor and shackeled them. Right after that the officers chose the ones to be deported on the basis of photos. Altogether four persons from Togo have been deported from this prison in Hamburg. It was announced before that one of the prisoner should undergo a medical examination before the deportation that the northern German Refugee Councils (Flüchtlingsräte) and AIDS-Aid-Stations had demanded in cooperation with his lawyer. In the case of another prisoner from Togo, the embassy of Togo had not issued any papers. Both prisoners were deported in this cloak-and-dagger operation despite of all that. During the two following days other refugees were deported to Togo.

In the meantime the absolute majority of applications for asylum are rejected by the Federal Office and the administrative courts. Some of the refugees who were accepted according to § 51 and who have been living in Germany for years are withdrawn their recognition for asylum and asked to leave the country.

Since the middle of last year, big parts of the Togolese opposition in exile have been protesting against the German deportation policies and against the dictatorship of General Gnassingbé Eyadéma. After members of the opposition and civilians had been massacred during the presidential elections in 2003, the Caravan for the Rights of Refugees and Migrants ("Karawane für die Rechte der Flüchtlinge und MigrantInnen") and opposition groups from Togo have launched a campaign against the dictatorship of Eyadéma and against the German collaboration that includes many public activities for political education. At the same time the political persons in charge were confronted with information about the situation in Togo and with the demands of the Togolese refugees. All political authorities were adequately or very well informed about the dramatic humanrights conditions and the persecution of the opposition in Togo. But neither the Department for Foreign Affaires nor the Home Offices
of the federal states were willing to stop the deportations to Togo and reject all responsibilities.
At the same time the Department for Foreign Affaires claims to have no tangible indications of the persecution of Togolese refugees after their deportation. In contrast to that, Togolese opposition parties, lawyers and refugee-organisations counter that they have a number of proofs for torture and persecution after deportations that have also been presented to the Department for Foreign Affaires.

Barbara Ginsberg, a lawyer from Cologne (Köln), who is specialised in
asylum proceedings, for example states:
"I met a number of Togolese people who were arrested and tortured after their deportation but could afterwards escape to Germany once again. They were predominantly critically traumatised, in parts there were also apparent traces of torture. A woman for example, who was pregnant for three months when she was deported, had scars of whippings on her belly when she returned. She was in her 8th month at that time. A man had regular scars on his belly
which did not heal even after years because these cuts had been done with a knife and chilly was sprinkled into them afterwards. Electroshocks and other methods of torture are also exercised "as and when required". Even yesterday I spoke to a client, who was brought to Africa with an accumulative-deportation flight. He was then imprisoned for 15 months in Togo, with the charge of having befouled the name of his president Eyadéma when he was in Germany. But the Department for Foreign Affaires still holds to the lie that they have no information about cases of Togolese who had suffered from state-repression after their deportation. I myself have provided evidence to the Department for Foreign Affaires that Togolese were arrested, tortured, killed or have disappeared without a trace after their deportation or unsolicited return to Togo. Even the fact that some of those who could escape once again to Germany have been accepted in their asylum proceedings in the meantime, cannot change the false information of the Foreign Office."

The Togolese opposition member in exile, Tchedré Abdou Gafar, who was visiting relatives in Ghana in March/April, had to hide right there in Ghana, because the bloodhounds of the regime searched for him in the neighbouring state. During the search of Mr. Tchedré the militia showed photos of him, that were taken on demonstrations and assembly of the Togolese opposition in Germany.

The deportees from Germany and Holland of May 26, 2004 were immediately threatened on their arrival in Lomé. After extended interrogation about their activities and contacts in Germany they were released and notified that they would be called in the near future and that in the case of absence their families would get "problems".

The Cameroonian regime opponent who was deported from Germany was arrested directly at the airport in Douala. Since then no one has had contact with him.

A further deportation charter plane to Togo left on the 27.05.2004 from Langenhagen/ Hannover. One of the deportees and his fiance had applied in February for permission to marry. Instead of extending his residence permit they arrested him at the beginning of May two weeks before his permit expired and he was deported despite all protests. Also in this case the victims complained about being roughly treated by the German security.

In Togo they were arrested. It is still unknown whether they were all released.

The demand for an immediate and general cessation of deportation to Togo came after April 14, 2004. On this day a conference of the EU and AKP states took place in Brussels. The subject of the conference was the blockade of Article 9 of the Cotonou Agreement regarding democracy and human rights by the Togolese regime. The regime accepted a comprehensive catalogue of commitments which were to be implemented within a pre-ordained time limit. This catalogue makes clear that in Togo not even a rudimentary democratisation process has been implemented. The country is still governed by absolute dictatorial power.
The commitments include, amongst others, the release of prisoners, the abolishment of torture, the admittance of opposition parties and media, reforms of the judicial and electoral system as well as constitutional reforms.
Already, the regime has shown in practice that it will not implement the
commitments. The time limit for the release of political prisoners who are incarcerated because of statements they made, was six weeks and has already elapsed. The regime stated that there were no political prisoners.
Instead of an immediate suspension of deportation after the Brussels conference there has been an increase of refusals of political asylum and forced deportations to dictatorial Togo.

Against this background the Caravan for the Rights of Refugees and Migrants and sections of the Togolese opposition in exile resolved to conduct a four-day hunger strike in Berlin to inform the public about the human rights abuses in Germany and Togo. The German government and its subordinate organisations are responisble for the fate of the deportees and we demand accountability.

We demand:

1. the immediate cessation of deportation and issuance of a general deportation stop to Togo.

2. the immediate release of all Togolese refugees in deportation prisons.

3. the unconditional recognition of the right of political asylum for all who have fled from the Eyadema regime.

4. the correction of the incorrect and incomplete situational reports of the Foreign Office which are the basis for the crucial asylum decisions of the administrative courts. The Togolese exile opposition and different humanrights organisations offer their cooperation for these purposes.

5. not to hinder the political activities of exile opposition movement for democracy and justice; neither through laws in breach of the constitution such as the so-called Residenzpflicht residence law and other human rights abusive legal regulations which asylum seekers in Germany are subjected to nor through discriminatory and arbitrary police controls and maltreatment nor through other governmental checks and restriction.

6. that the German government bears the responsibility for any consequences for body and life resulting from the denial of the right of political asylum and deportation.

7. that meeting like the Brussels conference on the Cotonou agreement not be used to initiate new relationships with the Eyadema regime.

Points 1 to 6 are to be applied as well to refugees from Cameroon and South Cameroon.


June 19 - 22, 2004
Gendarmenmarkt in Berlin/Mitte
(Begin Saturday, 12°°)

Stop the criminal deportation practises and the persecution of Togolese and Cameroon oppositional exiles by the German state!

Karawane für die Rechte der Flüchtlinge und MigrantInnen
Sektion Nord / Koordinationskreis Hamburg
c/o Brigittenstrasse 5
Tel: 0049-(0)40-43 18 90 37,
Fax: 0049-(0)40-43 18 90 38
20359 Hamburg mail: /

TOGO: Nine jailed after university riots in April

LOME, 24 May 2004 (IRIN) - A court in Togo has sentenced nine people to 18 months in jail, accused of causing violence and damage to goods and vehicles during days of protest at the campus last month, which led to violent clashes with the security forces, it said on Monday.

Fifteen people were brought before the court after the disturbances, the worst seen in Togo for several years. However, six were released without charge by the state prosecutor Baoubadi Bakaye.

Of the nine sentenced, six were students of the university, two were motorbike taxi-drivers and another one a photographer.

The students took to the streets on 30 April, to demand an improvement in their living conditions and the payment of government grants that were up to three years in arrears.

The verdict infuriated the students’ families present at the trial.

“They’re innocent!” cried a girl whose brother, a student in his third year in business management at Lome University, was sentenced to jail.

About a hundred young people, singing the national anthem and crying slogans against the Minister of Higher Education, Charles Kondi-Agba, spontaneously marched on the main market of the Lome capital “to inform women and mothers about the verdict,” witnesses said.

“Down with injustice!” and “Agba resign!” they shouted, referring to Kondi-Agba.

Kondi-Agba closed the University of Lome until further notice last month “in order to facilitate a genuine and constructive dialogue with the students.”

According to the minister, the students were manipulated by opponents of President Gnassingbe Eyadema, Africa's longest serving head of state who has ruled this poor West African country for the past 37 years.

He accused them of throwing molotov cocktails, crude bombs, at the police and attempting to disrupt recently opened negotiations with the European Union aimed at restoring EU aid to Togo for the first time since 1993.

Students denied these accusations. Two weeks before the demonstration, they presented Kondi-Agba with a list of grievances on behalf of the 15,000 students at Lome University and Kara University in the north.

These included a demand for the payment of bursary arrears amounting to 80,000 CFA, around US$ 150 per student.

In their trial, students claimed the use of excessive force by police.
Witnesses said students were injured when police beat them with sticks and opened fire on them with tear gas and live ammunition.

A nurse said that the security forces threatened her because she did not want to let them beat a sick student in the university infirmary.

“They said to me: ‘Lady, if you don’t give in, I’ll fire gas on you!’” the nurse told the court. She added that she let them go on beating the student on his sick-bed.

The 14 lawyers for the defense, from RADAR, the Network of Lawyers against Arbitrary Custody, said they would appeal against the decision.

“The battle is still going on, we’ll appeal,” said Isabelle Ameganvi, one of the defence lawyers.


TOGO: Nine opposition militants jailed

LOME, 28 May 2004 (IRIN) - Nine militants of the main opposition party, the Union of the Forces for Change (UFC), have been sentenced to between two and six years in prison for disrupting public order during presidential elections last year and for possessing illegal war-weapons, a court pronounced on Friday.

The militants were arrested during the presidential elections in June 2003 after the destruction of a petrol station and the explosion of a handmade bomb in a French restaurant in the capital Lome.

When they were arrested, they said that their actions were a protest against the exclusion of UFC leader, Gilchrist Olympio, from standing against President Gnassingbe Eyadema in the poll.

The UFC claim that Olympio would have won the presidential election had been able to stand.

Togolese judicial authorities welcomed the sentence and denied they were politically motivated.

“We’re very pleased about the exemplary decision made by the judge with a completely independent mind,” said the state prosecutor Robert Bakai after the trial.

“We will no longer be indifferent to acts of vandalism: in future we will take strong measures in accordance with the legal framework,” he said.

Earlier this month, Minister of Justice, Foli Bazi-Katari said that Togo did not have political prisoners in their jails.

“Nobody is incarcerated in Togo for political reasons,” he said.

This week Amnesty International issued a continent wide report, in which Togo was slated for malicious prosecution, arbitrary arrest and excessive force against political demonstrations, as well as widespread torture and ill-treatment of prisoners.

The court’s sentences were served one day after the opening of talks between the government and the opposition, designed to win back financial aid from the European Union.

Togo’s government committed itself to holding the talks last month under pressure from Brussels as a condition for resuming aid, frozen in 1993 in protest over Togo's poor democratic and human rights record.

However, UFC and two other main opposition parties said preparations for the "political dialogue" had been rushed and boycotted the opening ceremony.

Eyadema is Africa's longest serving ruler. He seized power in a 1967 coup and has ruled the former French colony of five million people with an iron fist.

Solidarity campaign for Akalo Komi in Apolda-Thueringen, Germany
My appeal to stop my deportation to Togo!

Komi Akalo, Member of the Comité d'Action pour le Renouveau; (C.A.R), registered under L0/S/CAR 13295 of October 8th 1991.

Originally, the worrying political problem in Togo where I was an activist of the C.A.R. was the major reason why I had to flee Togo and seek refugee in Germany.

On arrival in Germany in 1994, I made my first asylum application in Mühlhausen, which was refused by the Bundesamt barely a month after. I was later transfered on the 16th February, 1995 to Apolda in Thüringen where I met other political activists and different opposition party members.

Worried about the unbearable living conditions of refugees in Germany and about the worsening situation in my home country, I eventually had to intensify my political activities. I became an active member of The VOICE Refugee Forum and the Caravan-for the rights of refugees and migrants. I participated in different protests and other activities to highlight the
human rights abuses in Togo and various events of The VOICE Refugee Forum including the Caravan Tour 2002 through 37 Cities in Germany. I have also been active with opposition Togolese groups and participated in meetings, congresses and demonstrations of Togolese exiles, including other solidarity initiatives in Germany.

On August, 21st 2002, my article was published in the Togolese newspaper "L'Evenement". This is a publication close to the opposition in Togo in which I openly critized the Togolese president Gnassingbe Eyadema. I condemned the violence of the Togolese government against the people and the impunity of the perpetrators. After the publication of my article in Lomé I sent several critical letters to different Togolese authorities, amongst them the president of the national assembly Mr. Fambaré Natchaba, General Gnassingbé Eyadema, the General Secretary of the Togolese embassy in Bonn and to different other personalities of the administration in Lomé. In January 2003 one of my article on the violation of human rights
in Togo through a terror regime by military forces was published in different internet pages.

The worsening situation in my country and my recent political and journalistic activities about it constituted the grounds for a second asylum application in October 2002. With the new press law, critical journalists in Togo are threatened by prison terms, fines and of course the attendant torture. Press freedom is practically abolished. According to the new press law, every person that „insults“ the head of state is threatened by prison term of between one to five years in addition to a fine of 5.000.000 cfa. Who insults the prime minister, the members of the
administration or the security forces, is punishable with prison term of between one to three years.

But despite all my criticism against the Togolese Government and the dangers that I am certain to face if forcibly sent to Togo, the VG Gera (Administrative Court) has not recognized my application for asylum. Last week, the foreign authorities in Apolda announced my deportation. I’m now under acute deportation threat. The OVG (Higher Administrative Court)
Weimar has until now not yet decided if my application for appeal is admitted.

Togo, under General Gnassingbé Eyadema is one of the oldest and most brutal dictatorships in Africa. People that are engaged for democracy are not welcome and are very badly persecuted - with prison, torture and death. But despite the worrying situation that is prevalent in Togo, the
German authorities do not want to accept the demands of our refugees for protection by sending us back to our country where we are arrested and put into prison, tortured and in many cases killed.

Therefore I launch an urgent appeal to the activists and pogressive people to participate on our just liberation struggle for Togo and to stop the unjust deportations that are being prepared in this country.

Stop deportation to Togo!

I am calling on you all - be it groups, organisations or individuals – to denounce publicly the degrading violations of human rights in Togo and the deportation threats from Germany.

I am calling on you to support our campaign for the freedom of political prisoners and for press freedom in Togo.

I appeal to human rights groups and organisations to support our commitment to continue our political and social engagements for our right to be present here, and to provide security and safety for refugees in Germany.

I am therefore appealing to you to demand that the court will take serious the persecution that I’m likely to face in Togo and that my case will be reopened in the interest of the public and in the interest of all Togolese.

Until now the Oberverwaltungsgericht Weimar has not yet decided if my application for appeal is admitted.

I am demanding an urgent appeal from the public to protest the negative decision of Gera court for the refusal of my right to asylum and to demand the reconsideration of my pending appeal to the court to reopen my asylum case. It will be wise to express your solidarity for me in your letter.

Insist in your letter to denouce the humanright abuses in Togo and that you are aware of the public interest in my political activities in exile and my appeal to stop the deportation to Togo.

Please send protest letter to the Internal Minister of Thüringen with reference to my file:
Akalo Komi, Az.:4 K 20655/02 GE)
Herr Andreas Trautvetter, Thüringer Innenministerium, Steigerstraße 24, 99104 Erfurt,Tel.: +49 ( 0 ) 361 37 900, Fax.: +49 ( 0 ) 361 37 93 111, Mail:

Please send copies to:
Ausländerbehörde Apolda, Bahnhofstraße 28, D-99503 Apolda,
Tel.:+49(03644) 540 0, Fax +49 (03644) 540 850, Mail:

Botschaft der Republik Togo, Beethovenallee 13, 53173 Bonn,
Telefon +49 (0228) 3676857, Fax: +49 (0228) 3676859

Yours Sincerely,
Member of The VOICE Forum and the Caravan-for the Rights of Refugees and migrants.

Please spread my appeal to other for support, send me your solidarity letter and a copy of your letter to the authorities which can be used to prove the public interest in my case:

Mr. Komi Akalo, The VOICE Refugee Forum,
e-mail: mailto:,

For more information the solidarity campaign for Akalo Komi contact:
The VOICE Refugee Forum in Jena. Schillergäßschen 5, 07745 Jena