Association

Togo’s Constitution guarantees the right to freedom of association. However, in practice, associations can be denied legal registration if they offend public morality or undermine the integrity of the government. This makes the formation of associations difficult, particularly for LGBTI organisations who are not free to seek registration as they are deemed by law to offend public morals. Rural organisations have to travel to the capital city in order to be registered, placing a de facto restriction on their associational rights. CSOs in Togo also face obstacles in their day-to-day work that include harassment and intimidation. For example, the president of the Association of Victims of Torture in Togo, Amah Olivier was arrested in September 2014 and charged with “inciting rebellion” after he gave an interview to a radio station. He also received death threats during his period of arrest. He was subsequently judicially harassed and eventually fled into exile in 2014. Human rights defenders also face threats and intimidation. In 2012, Koffi Kounté, the president of the National Human Rights Commission, had to flee the country after he published a report documenting torture by the intelligence services after a 2009 coup attempt. He remains in exile.