Detained Togo opposition pair face charges: prosecutor

Two senior opposition figures in Togo face charges after being detained by police for national security reasons, a prosecutor said on Sunday. 

Brigitte Adjamagbo-Johnson, the first woman to run for president in the West African state, and Gerard Djossou, another member of her Dynamique Monseigneur Kpodzro (DMK) party, were arrested in late November.

The arrests came after DMK called for a demonstration in the capital Lome and the detentions sparked allegations that the state was behind a campaign of “intimidation and judicial harassment”.

Top state prosecutor Essolissam Poyodi appeared on state television on Sunday to say that a judicial investigation had been opened into the duo on charges of “harming national security and associating with criminals”.

He said that a search of their homes had found documents and “compromising objects” which appeared to be linked to “a plan to destabilise the institutions of the republic.”

In February’s presidential election, DMK candidate and former prime minister Agbeyome Kodjo scored nearly 20 percent against nearly 71 percent for incumbent leader Faure Gnassingbe, who claimed a fourth term after the vote. 

The DMK refuses to recognise the results.

Rights group Amnesty International said the arrests of the DMK figures “were part of increasing repression of dissident voices by Togolese authorities since the election of President Faure Gnassingbe” in a statement on December 1.