At least 60 people were extrajudicially executed by the armed forces in January. At least five prisoners of conscience were sentenced to prison terms. Several other political prisoners appeared to be prisoners of conscience. There were reports of torture and ill-treatment. At least eight people "disappeared". Togo's first multi-party legislative elections were held in February, ending a transition period which began in 1991 with a National Conference and led to presidential elections in 1993 in which President Gnassingbé Eyadéma was returned to power (see Amnesty International Report 1994). The February elections were marked by violence by members of President Eyadéma's Rassemblement du peuple togolais (RPT), Assembly of the Togolese People, as well as by members of opposition parties. The Togolese Armed Forces, supposedly confined to barracks during the election period, continued to harass opposition supporters, particularly members of the Comité d'action pour le renouveau (CAR), Action Committee for Renewal. A special security force, the Forces de sécurité publique, Public Security Force, set up to keep order during the elections, was also implicated in human rights violations. The CAR and the Union togolaise pour la démocratie (UTD), Togolese Union for Democracy, won a majority of seats in the National Assembly. In mid-April President Eyadéma appointed the UTD leader, Edem Kodjo, as Prime Minister, provoking a rift between the two opposition parties: the CAR subsequently refused to participate in the new government. The new Prime Minister promised to re-establish the rule of law and improve respect for human rights, and in September the army chief of staff declared that the police would resume full responsibility for law and order. Despite this, none of the human rights violations committed by the security forces during the transition period or subsequently was known to have been fully or independently investigated, nor were those responsible brought to justice. Moreover, in mid-December the National Assembly passed a general amnesty law covering all crimes of a political nature committed prior to 15 December 1994, which appeared to grant impunity for all human rights violations committed by the security forces prior to that date. In October it was publicly announced that the head of the Presidential Guard had been arrested in connection with the murder of a lawyer in Lomé in June. However, it appeared that the real reason for his arrest was his suspected opposition to President Eyadéma and he and at least four other officers remained in detention at the end of 1994. After the elections, the security forces reportedly continued to harass and intimidate opposition supporters and those involved in the political transition process. According to unofficial sources, armed militias operating in collusion with the security forces were also responsible for killings and "disappearances". Between May and September at least six people with opposition connections – mainly prominent businessmen or their relatives – were killed in a series of assassination attempts by armed individuals, some of whom wore military uniform. Armed opposition supporters allegedly carried out attacks in January (see below) and October, when three members of the security forces and a civilian were killed in an attack on a police station in Vogan, 40 kilometres northeast of the capital, Lomé. Five suspects were arrested in connection with the attack, but had not been brought to court by the end of the year. In August the UN Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities passed a resolution on Togo which condemned human rights violations, called for an end to impunity and urged the UN Commission on Human Rights to appoint a Special Rapporteur on Togo. At least 48 prisoners were extrajudicially executed by soldiers following a shooting incident in Lomé on 5 January which the government alleged was an attack from Ghana on the headquarters of the Régiment interarmes togolais (RIT), Togolese Combined Regiment. After the shooting, at least 36 civilians were reportedly seized on the streets, taken into military custody at the rit headquarters and executed on or around 6 January. Up to 12 others, who had been held for 10 months in military custody at the rit headquarters on suspicion of involvement in an alleged attack there in March 1993 (see Amnesty International Report 1994), were also killed on 6 January because of their suspected sympathy with the attack the previous day. Among the victims were two soldiers, Private Amégadji and Private Djagri N'Teki Baba. At least 11 other people were extrajudicially executed or "disappeared" in Lomé in the days following the 5 January incident. In February, three CAR activists were killed after being abducted by men in military uniform during the elections. Gaston Aziaduvo Edeh, a newly elected member of parliament, and three other CAR supporters were reportedly taken in their car by their abductors to a military building known as la résidence du Bénin, the Benin residence. The following day, the burned-out wreck of the car and the dead bodies of three of the men – Gaston Aziaduvo Edeh, Prosper Ayité Hillah and Martin Agbenou – were found. The fourth captive escaped and went into hiding. The army chief of staff denied that soldiers had been involved and claimed that the killings were the work of civilians wear-ing military uniform. President Eyadéma asked the government to set up a commission of inquiry, but those responsible were not identified or brought to justice. Several prisoners of conscience were held during the year. Martin Dossou Gbenouga, publishing director of an independent newspaper, La Tribune des démocrates, was sentenced in May to five years' imprisonment in connection with an article which criticized President Eyadéma and the French Government's support for him. His arrest and conviction were part of a pattern of arrests and harassment of independent journalists, newspaper publishers and vendors. In early February, six members of the opposition Union des forces du changement (UFC), Union of Forces for Change, were arrested and charged with electoral fraud for distributing pamphlets calling for a boycott of the legislative elections. They were prisoners of conscience. At least four of them were sentenced to prison terms in May. Two were reportedly beaten and deprived of food in pre-trial custody. All six were released before the end of the year. Several other political prisoners appeared to be prisoners of conscience. Trade union leader Komi Dackey was arrested in January and held without trial until late December when he was released under the terms of the general amnesty. The authorities claimed that he was held, with a number of other detainees, on suspicion of involvement in the alleged attack on the RIT headquarters in January. However, the real reason for his arrest appeared to be his trade union activities. In November he was secretly transferred to a military camp in Kara, in the north, together with a number of other political detainees, including five soldiers held since March 1993 (see below). Several political prisoners arrested in 1992 and 1993 were reportedly released prior to the general amnesty, including Louis Amédome, Kanlou Odanou, Kokou Okessou Mbooura, Ali Akondo and Tampoudi Dermane (see Amnesty International Reports 1993 and 1994). Others were released at the end of the year as a result of the general amnesty. Among those freed were at least five soldiers detained without charge or trial since the alleged March 1993 attack on the RIT headquarters; Attiogbé Stéphane Koudossou and Gérard Akoumey (see Amnesty International Report 1994); at least 10 people arrested after the events of 5 January (see above); and four relatives of Corporal Nikabou Bikagni, held without charge or trial since October 1992 (see Amnesty International Reports 1993 and 1994). Corporal Bikagni, who was arrested in October 1992 apparently because of his allegiance to former Prime Minister Joseph Kokou Koffigoh, was convicted in January of importing and carrying arms and ammunition and was sentenced to three years' imprisonment; he reportedly remained held at the end of the year. The court refused to investigate allegations that he had been tortured in custody. Torture and ill-treatment of detainees were reported to be routine. In February Akuete Kodjo, a CAR member and brother of a soldier extrajudicially executed in March 1993 (see Amnesty International Report 1994), was detained for four months at the Gendarmerie nationale, the paramilitary police headquarters, in Lomé, where he was tortured. In June one man was reportedly arrested by soldiers and detained for 19 days in a secret detention centre where he was beaten, tortured with alternating jets of cold and scalding water, and interrogated about his views on democracy and freedom. At least eight people "disappeared". Gavi Komi, a salesman and CAR member, "disappeared" after he was abducted from his home in Lomé by five soldiers on 6 January. Six people, including Kowouvi Kobono and two women, "disappeared" in mid-February after being stopped by soldiers at a check-point in Adétikopé. David Bruce, a civil servant, "disappeared" after he was abducted in Lomé on 6 September from his car by three armed men, one of whom had a machine-gun. The assailants were travelling in a mini-bus followed by two military vehicles. Between 1991 and 1993 David Bruce was a senior adviser to the President of the High Council of the Republic. Amnesty International repeatedly expressed concern to the authorities about human rights violations including extrajudicial executions, torture and "disappearances". In September Amnesty International published a report, Togo: A new era for human rights?, which detailed human rights violations in the period between President Eyadéma's re-election in 1993 and the 1994 legislative elections. It called on the new government to investigate past violations, bring those responsible to justice, and implement urgently needed human rights reforms, including measures to eradicate torture, the release of prisoners of conscience and a review of the cases of political prisoners. The government did not respond in detail, but indicated a willingness to hold talks with the organization and informed Amnesty International about the general amnesty.

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