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Der Sprecher der Arbeiterpartei (PT) Togos, Claude Ameganvi wurde am 6.August zur polizeilichen Vernehmung in Lomé geladen und nachdem er 2 Tage auf der Polizeistation festgehalten wurde, am 8.August unter Anklage gestellt wegen "Verbreitung von Falschinformationen, Diffamierung und Störung der öffentlichen Ordnung".
Seine Festnahme durch die Polizei geschah nach einem Gespräch mit dem Innenminister General Walla, der ihn vernehmen wollte, nachdem am Vortag zwei Professoren wegen eines Flugblatts festgenommen worden waren "Unser Ausweg für Togo" - Flugblatt eines politischen Bündnisses, das von der PT Togos initiiert worden ist. Ameganvi war denunziert worden, er sei der Autor eines Zeitungsartikels, der über den persönlichen Reichtum des Präsidenten Eyadema berichtete.
Dieser Vorgang wird als ein Versuch verstanden, den bekanntesten Vertreter der PT und mit ihm die Partei anzugreifen zu einem Zeitpunkt, da sie eine wirksame politische Kampagne auf nationaler Ebene organisiert. Und obwohl sich längst die Betreiber zweier - im Ausland redigierten - oppositionellen togolesischer Webseiten als Autoren des in Frage stehenden Artikels bekannten, wurde der Prozess gegen Ameganvi zunächst auf demn 16.August gelegt, dann um eine Woche verschoben.
Eine Delegation aller togolesischen Oppositionsparteien war bereits beim Innenministerium und forderte seine sofortige Freilassung.
Eine internationale Delegation war bereits bei der togolesischen Botschaft in Paris und versuchte dort, Protestschreiben zu übergeben. Auch den Prozess wird eine internationale Delegation beobachten.
On the afternoon of August 8th , after 48 hours of detention at the police station without either his lawyers or his wife able to speak to him, Claude Ameganvi -- spokesperson of the Workers Party (PT) of Togo, West Africa, and a leader of the International Liaison Committee in Africa -- was taken before a hearing judge who stated that Ameganvi was being accused of "distributing false information, defamation and disturbance of the public order."
He was then taken to the prison in the capital city of Lomé, where he is currently held in "preventive detention." What are the facts?
On August 6, 2002, at 4:40 p.m., as he left a formal hearing with General Akawilou Sizing Walla, Togolese Minister of the Interior, Claude Ameganvi was detained by the police. Ameganvi had been received by the Minister of the Interior in the aftermath of the detention of two professors, Djaoura Tiguena and Takana Badjessa. They had been detained for "possession and distribution of leaflets" published by the broad political regroupment "What Solution For Togo?" -- a regroupment established at the initiative of the Workers Party. These documents had been widely distributed around the country.
According to the police and a memo from the Minister of the Interior, on August 5 a director of a newspaper was detained for distribution of information considered false and defamatory regarding the personal fortune of Togolese President Eyadema. According to the police, this newspaper director cited Mr. Ameganvi as the author of the article in question, a statement rejected by Ameganvi in front of the police as well as in front of the hearing judge. Ameganvi is the principal spokesperson of the Workers Party of Togo, which publishes the newspaper Nyawo, which expresses his positions and those of the party. The entire government-police operation seeks to politically eliminate the main public figure of the Workers Party and to threaten all the activists of this party. This is also what was behind the detention of the two professors.
The party is currently working to regroup activists and workers within the "What Solution for Togo?" political regroupment with the objective of fighting against the dislocation of the country and opening a path to a positive solution that serves the interests of the Togolese people. Claude Ameganvi, aside from his responsibilities in the Workers Party, was one of the promoters of the International Tribunal to Judge Those Responsible for the Deadly Evolution That Threatens the Very Existence of the Workers and People of Africa, whose first session was held in Los Angeles in February 2000.
The international campaign for the immediate release of Claude Ameganvi must continue and expand! We note here that a delegation composed of all of the opposition parties of Togo went to the Minister of the Interior to demand the freedom of Claude Ameganvi.
A first delegation went on Wednesday, August 7th, to the embassy of Togo in Paris. The person who greeted them indicated that the ambassador could not receive them because he was not informed of the case, and that he would get back to them. After no further response, the delegation returned to the embassy on Friday, August 9th. The same person declared that he could say nothing, not even set a date because the ambassador was absent, and that he would call them to set a date for an interview. Trial Begins August 23rd! The trial of Claude Ameganvi was set to begin on Friday, August 16th but was immediately postponed for one week, with a new date set for August 23rd. Meanwhile, Claude Ameganvi has had to remain in prison. Supporters of Claude Ameganvi in Togo have received two signed messages from the coordinators of two web pages published by sectors of the Togolese opposition abroad announcing, and demonstrating, that they were the ones who on luly 26th uploaded onto their respective web sites the article which is the object of the case against Ameganvi. These messages mention the name of the author of the article and list the Internet web site addresses, thus corroborating what Claude Ameganvi has stated from the beginning; that is, the accusation that he was the author of this article is false. The legal proceedings against him should therefore be dropped immediately and Claude Ameganvi must be freed! An international delegation led by Daniel Gluckstein, coordinator of the International Liaison of Workers and Peoples, has decided to travel to Togo to observe Claude Ameganvi's trial.
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