News24

Togo wants torture agents sanctioned

2012-03-01 22:32

Lome - Authorities in Togo have demanded that state security agents implicated in the alleged torture of suspects held over a failed coup in 2009 be punished.

Culture Minister Yacoubou Hamadou told national television that ministers had "invited the military high command to set in motion a procedure to apply immediate disciplinary sanctions" after a probe by the national human rights comission (CNDH).

The government had initially insisted on Febrary 19 that the CNDH investigation had shown that no torture had taken place.

But the CNDH distanced itself from that report and published what it said was the authentic report. It said its investigations had established detainees suffered "acts of physical violence, and inhuman and degrading treatment".

Eight human rights organisations later called on the government to resign for "doctoring" the CNDH report.

Thirty-three people, including President Faure Gnassingbe's half-brother, are serving jail terms over the alleged 2009 plot in the West African nation.

Kpatcha Gnassingbe, thought to be the mastermind of the coup plot, was jailed for 20 years for attempted violation of state security. Others were handed shorter prison sentences.

Most of the suspects told a court during their trial that they were tortured during their detention at the ANR.