Peaceful protests prohibited by authorities

Peaceful Assembly

The authorities prohibited several protests over the past two months in Burkina Faso. The mayor of Ouagadougou denied authorisation for a protest to take place on 23rd September with Togolese nationals planning to gather and demand political reforms and democratic change in neighbouring Togo. The authorities claimed that the protest risked creating a "disturbances to the public order between Togolese nationals in Burkina Faso and even relations between our two republics". Balai Citoyen, a social movement in Burkina Faso, condemned the mayor's decision and called it "an attack on public freedoms in general, and on the freedom of expression of Togolese nationals living in Burkina in particular". 

The mayor of Ouagadougou also refused to authorise a protest planned for 21st October and organised by Cadre d'Expression Démocratique (CED) and Mouvement Populaire de la Jeunesse (Popular Youth Movement) over poor governance, the existence of special courts, such as the military courts, and the detention of generals Djibrill Bassolé and Gilbert Diendéré, both of whom were accused of the failed coup d'état in September 2015 and have been detained without a trial. The protests was banned on grounds of "disturbing public order". Early in the morning on 21st October, security forces closed off the Place de la Nation, and prohibited any gathering of people. Police used tear gas to disperse protesters who tried to demonstrate despite the prohibition. A total of four protesters were detained, including the coordinator of CED, Pascal Zaida.