Lomé,Togo - France's ruling Socialist Party has denounced 'the wave of arrests of political opponents' in Togo and called for the immediate release of those detained.
This was contained in a press release entitled 'Togo flouts democracy' obtained by PANA on Thursday in Lome.
The press release signed by its National Secretary for Europe and on the International, Jean-Christophe Cambadénis, said 'the Socialist Party is worried about the wave of arrests of political opponents being carried out for one year now by the ruling party'.
It also observed the 'blatant nature of these arrests' which are mainly targeted at personalities of the opposition umbrella 'Let’s Save Togo' and other opposition members.
The Socialist Party also protested against 'bad governance and impunity in Togo' and called on the ruling authorities to 'facilitate the boosting of a sincere and inclusive political dialogue, and to urgently implement the recommendations of the European Union’s observer missions for electoral reforms for the next parliamentary poll'.
The security forces have for the past several months been suppressing demonstrations organised by the opposition umbrella 'Let’s Save Togo' to force the authorities’ hand to implement institutional reforms.
On 10 January a huge fire consumed the big market of the northern city of Kara, a stronghold of the ruling party.Two days later, another huge fire burned down the big market in Lome, causing extensive damage.
But even before two French experts sent to Togo to investigate the causes of the fires could submit their report, the Public Prosecutor, Blaise Essolissam Boyodi, has caused the arrest of 23 people close to the opposition, who were questioned by the National Gendarmerie and detained in Lome.
Among those detained are Gabriel Messan Agbéyomé Kodjo, former president of the National Assembly and chairman of the Organization to Build Unity and Solidarity in Togo (OBUTS), Gérard Adja, vice-president of OBUTS and Alphonse Kpogo, S=secretary general of the Alliance of Democrats for Integral Development.
Members of the National Alliance for Change of Jean-Pierre Fabre (ANC), a breakaway wing of Gilchrist Olympio's Union of Forces for Change, were also arrested.
They include Mrs. Suzanne Kafui Nukafu, a member of the ANC female wing and Jean Eklou, chairman of the ANC youth.