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Continued detention of human rights defender and youth leader Foly Satchivi

Status: 
Appealing his sentence
About the situation

On 12 September, Foly Satchivi's appeal hearing was adjourned for the third time.

Foly Satchivi's appeal hearing took place on 11 July 2019 in Lomé, Togo; the hearing was adjourned to 22 August 2019 by the judge following a request by the prosecution for more time to conduct their investigations. 22 August 2019 will mark one year since Foly Satchivi was originally arrested.

On 16 January 2019, Foly Satchivi received a three-year prison sentence with one year suspended from a lower court in Lomé for three charges consisting of “rebellion”, “glorification of and incitement to commit crimes and misdemeanors”, and “serious disruption of public order” in connection with his role in organising a press conference in August 2018 about the deteriorating socio-political climate in Togo.

On 10 January 2019, Foly Satchivi appeared in court on three charges: (1) rebellion, (2) glorification of and incitement to commit crimes and misdemeanours, (3) serious disruption of public order. The prosecutor in the case requested a 4-year sentence. The judge is expected to hand down a verdict on 14 January.

On 30 August 2018, Foly Satchivi's request for release on bail was rejected by the Court of First Instance of Lomé.

On 23 August 2018, Foly Satchivi appeared before the Court of First Instance of Lomé, charged with “rebellion”, “apology of and incitement to commit crimes and misdemeanours” and “serious disruption of public order”, in connection with a press conference he organised.

About Foly Satchivi

Foly Satchivi Foly Satchivi is the leader and spokesperson of En Aucun Cas (Under No Circumstances), a human rights movement which works to raise awareness on human rights issues in Togo, especially in rural areas, and achieve peaceful socio-political transformation in the country through means such as peaceful protests.

12 July 2019
Foly Satchivi's hearing adjourned

Foly Satchivi's appeal hearing took place on 11 July 2019 in Lomé, Togo; the hearing was adjourned to 22 August 2019 by the judge following a request by the prosecution for more time to conduct their investigations. 22 August 2019 will mark one year since Foly Satchivi was originally arrested.

18 January 2019
Foly Satchivi receives three year sentence

On 16 January 2019, Foly Satchivi received a three-year prison sentence with one year suspended from a lower court in Lomé for three charges consisting of “rebellion”, “glorification of and incitement to commit crimes and misdemeanors”, and “serious disruption of public order” in connection with his role in organising a press conference in August 2018 about the deteriorating socio-political climate in Togo.

Foly Satchivi is the leader and spokesperson of En Aucun Cas (Under No Circumstances), a human rights movement which works to raise awareness on human rights issues in Togo, especially in rural areas, and to achieve peaceful socio-political transformation in the country through means such as peaceful protests.

During the first hearing of his case on 10 January 2019, the prosecutor requested a prison sentence of four years; however, according to Foly Satchivi’s legal counsel, the prosecution did not produce any evidence to support the charges.

On 14 January 2019, the human rights defender began a hunger strike to protest his imprisonment, and to call for his release. The human rights defender has seen his health decline since his arrest and imprisonment on 22 August 2018; however, despite his condition, Foly Satchivi was previously denied medical care, including for a chronic ulcer which requires treatment.

Front Line Defenders expresses concern at the sentence handed down to Foly Satchivi as it believes the verdict was motivated by his peaceful exercise of the right to freedom of expression and of association, and his defence of human rights in Togo.

14 November 2018
Foly Satchivi on hunger strike

UPDATE: Foly Satchivi has decided to continue his hunger strike until all human rights defenders are released from jail. A solidarity protest is scheduled for 17 November in Lomé, Togo.

On 12 November 2018, Foly Satchivi began a 72-hour hunger strike to protest his continued detention and that of his three colleagues.

Foly Satchivi is the leader and spokesperson of En Aucun Cas (Under No Circumstances), a human rights movement which works to raise awareness on human rights issues in Togo, especially in rural areas, and to achieve peaceful socio-political transformation in the country through means such as peaceful protests.

The human rights defender has seen his health decline while in prison; he currently has a fever and is experiencing respiratory problems. Despite his worsening condition, Foly Satchivi has been denied medical care, including for a chronic ulcer which requires treatment.

He has been detained since 22 August 2018 when he was arrested before a press conference at the offices of a non-profit organisation in Lomé. On 30 August 2018, Foly Satchivi was denied bail; his lawyers have repeatedly requested that he be released from prison, none of their requests have been granted. No trial date has been set in relation to the three charges that he faces: “rebellion”, “apology of and incitement to commit crimes and misdemeanours” and “serious disruption of public order”.

Front Line Defenders expresses deep concern at Foly Satchivi’s worsening health condition, and calls on the Togolese authorities to immediately allow the human rights defender to seek medical care. Furthermore, Front Line Defenders calls on the authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Foly Satchivi, as Front Line Defenders believes that he is being held solely as a result of his legitimate and peaceful work in the defence of human rights in Togo.

30 August 2018
Continued detention of human rights defender and youth leader Foly Satchivi

UPDATE: On 30 August 2018, Foly Satchivi's request for release on bail was rejected by the Court of First Instance of Lomé.

On 23 August 2018, Foly Satchivi appeared before the Court of First Instance of Lomé, charged with “rebellion”, “apology of and incitement to commit crimes and misdemeanours” and “serious disruption of public order”, in connection with a press conference he organised.

Foly Satchivi is the leader and spokesperson of En Aucun Cas (Under No Circumstances), a human rights movement which works to raise awareness on human rights issues in Togo, especially in rural areas, and achieve peaceful socio-political transformation in the country through means such as peaceful protests.

On 22 August 2018, Foly Satchivi was arrested by gendarme officers at the premises of a non-profit organisation located in Bè-Gakpoto, Lomé, prior to the launch of a press conference he had organised to discuss the continued tension and the deteriorating socio-political climate in Togo. He was forcefully taken to the civil prison of Lomé, on the grounds that the youth movement had no official authorisation to organise the press conference. On 27 August, Foly Satchivi’s lawyer submitted a request to the Court for release on bail. The request is pending.

Front Line Defenders is deeply concerned by the continued detention of Foly Satchivi and strongly condemns the charges against him as it believes that he is being solely targeted as a result of his peaceful and legitimate work in defence of human rights.

Front Line Defenders urges the authorities in Togo to:

1. Drop all charges against Foly Satchivi and release him as Front Line Defenders believes that he is being detained and charged solely as a result of his legitimate and peaceful work in the defence of human rights;

2. Ensure that the treatment of Foly Satchivi while in detention, adheres to the conditions set out in the “Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment”, adopted by UN General Assembly resolution 43/173 of 9 December 1988;

3. Cease targeting all human rights defenders in Togo in all circumstances and ensure that they are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions including judicial harassment.