October 18, 2019

Press Freedom

Togo

Togo April 7, 2005

H.E. Faure Gnassingbe
President
Office of the President
Palais Presidential
Avenue de la Marina
Lome
Republic of Togo
Fax: (011.228) 21-20-40

 

Your Excellency:

We write to join the many voices protesting your recent crack-down on the media of Togo in the aftermath of the death of your father, President Gnassingbe Eyadema, and your unconstitutional seizure of his office with the support of the army.

In nine days beginning February 7, 2005, officials of your government closed ten radio and television stations, either accusing them of “inciting civil disobedience and revolt” or on the pretext that they owed back taxes. It is evident that their real offense was broadcasting panel discussions of your actions and/or call-in shows on which listeners voiced opinions hostile to your coup.

While we are relieved that all the stations have since been allowed to resume broadcasting, the precedent you have set in harassing them is extremely worrisome. We urge you to issue a strong statement affirming support for press freedom and expressing regret for the actions taken in February.

Thank you for your attention. We await your response.
 

Respectfully yours,
Norman A. Schorr
Larry Martz
Co-chairmen, Freedom of the Press Committee

cc:

Koffi Sama       

Prime Minister

Office of the Prime Minister

P.O. Box 1161

Lome

Republic of Togo

Fax: (011.228) 221-2952

Akoussoulelou Bodjona

Ambassador of Togo to the U.S.A.

Embassy of the Republic of Togo

2208 Massachusetts Avenue, NW

Washington , DC 20008

Fax: (202) 232-3190

Kodjo Mena

Charge d’Affaires

Permanent Mission of the Republic of Togo

to the United Nations

112 East 40 th Street

New York , NY 10016

Fax: (212) 983-6684

 

Gregory W. Engle

U.S. Ambassador to Togo

Embassy of the United States of America

Rue Kouenou and Beniglato Rue 15

Lome B.P. 852

Togo

Fax: (011.228) 221-7952