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Lome refuses to let Amnesty delegation in

[Congo] Veteran politician Etienne Tshisekedi, leader of  Union pour la democratie et le progres social, the strongest opposition party in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Etienne Tshisekedi, leader du principal parti d'opposition Udps (Union pour la
Etienne Tshisekedi, leader of Union pour la democratie et le progres social. (Eddy Isango/IRIN)

The head of Amnesty International, Pierre Sane, was prevented on Friday from entering Togo from Ghana, Amnesty press officer Olivier Jacoulet told IRIN.

"A delegation of four people, including Pierre Sane ... arrived at the border today and were prevented from entering Togo," Jacoulet said. They were told by border officials that they were not allowed through, despite all holding valid visas, because of "current tensions in Lome".

Jacoulet said Amnesty believed the decision was related to a report it published two weeks ago alleging widespread human rights abuses in Togo. News organisations reported on Thursday that a group of six lawyers were to sue the international watchdog on behalf of the Togolese government,which has denied the allegations in the report.

Amnesty stands by its report, which blamed the Lome government for hundreds of political killings, disappearances and torture, Jacoulet said.

Sane, who attended the African, African-American summit in Accra, was to have met President Gnassingbe Eyadema in Togo's capital on Friday to discuss human rights issues. Jacoulet said Sane received a telephone call early Friday from Togo's ambassador to Ghana telling him Eyadema had cancelled the meeting.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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