EU condemns threats and intimidation of opposition, HRDs and journalists

Association

The EU Parliament adopted a resolution on 14th September condemning "the constant threats, attacks, use of force and severe restrictions and intimidations faced by the opposition, human rights defenders and journalists in Gabon". 

Albert Ondo Ossa, an ex-minister, 2009 presidential candidate, professor of Economy at the University of Omar Bongo and civil society activist, asserted that border police had denied him access to his flight to Douala, Cameroon on 27th August, where he planned to attend a conference. Ossa stated that the border police agents claimed Ossa did not have authorisation to leave Gabon, and that Ossa needed to address the issue with the Ministry of the Interior.

On 3rd September, the spokesperson from the Ministry of the Interior announced that opposition leader Jean Ping and other leaders of the opposition Coalition pour la Nouvelle République, including Casimir Oye Mba, were prohibited to leave the country, allegedly as a temporary administrative measure. The ban was lifted on 8th September. 

Peaceful Assembly

Police officers used tear gas to disperse a strike by employees of the Ministry of Oil in Libreville on 6th September. The workers were demanding the payment of salaries for the past four months. 

A meeting of opposition leader Jean Ping, planned in a courtyard at the private college N'tchoreré on 4th September, was prevented from taking place by police blocking off the only entrance. The spontaneous protests by Ping's supporters that followed later that day were dispersed by police using tear gas. Ping's supporters allegedly overturned trash bins, burned tires and attempted to put up barricades on the expressway. On 25th August, another spontaneous protest of young supporters of Jean Ping was dispersed by police using tear gas. According to Gabon Review, at least ten protesters were arrested on 25th August, while a number were arrested during the protests on 4th September. 

Expression

During a visit to the national television station on 28th August 2017, Minister of Communications Alain Claude Bilie By Nze declared that opposition members who do not recognise the current ruling authorities will not have access to airtime on the public television station.