Police presence intimidates protestors in Togo

A heavy police presence succeeded in deterring protestors outside Togo's foreign ministry in November. Protestors had gathered to highlight the plight of Togolese workers in Lebanon, who they claim are subject to being locked up, abused and even killed by their employers. Togolese-Lebanese civil society groups are calling for greater protection for Togolese citizens living and working in Lebanon, including the opening of a consulate in Beirut to enable them to leave the country when they need to. 

During the demonstration in the Togolese capital Lome, protestors attempted to gather admidst a large deployment of armed police officers who effectively locked down the administrative centre of the city and forced the demonstrators onto side streets away from official buildings. One of the protest leaders, Pastor Edoh Kome said:

'Sur les lieux de manifestation, les forces de sécurité en nombre pléthorique ont tout assiégé dans le périmètre du quartier administratif de Lomé. Aucun endroit n’est accessible. Les manifestants sont éparpillés dans les rues voisines. C’est une fois encore la preuve que la liberté de manifestation est encore loin d’être acquise au Togo.'