Jean-Rémy Yama, President of Dynamique Unitaire – Gabon’s largest trade union coalition – and an active member of Tournons la Page (TLP-Gabon), was arrested in Libreville on February 27, 2022, and taken to the General Directorate of Counter-Intelligence and Military Security – known as “B2”. He was then transferred to an unknown destination. On March 2, 2022, the union leader was formally charged with fraud, breach of trust and embezzlement in a public procurement case, after which he was remanded in custody at the Libreville Central Prison. He was, in the same month, removed from the civil service, without conformity to legally established procedure.
In July 2016, Jean-Rémy Yama had, in a similar case, been accused of embezzling money. He had then been imprisoned and afterwards released in October 2016, several months after the proclamation of the results of the August 2016 presidential election.
Today, the this most recent detention of Jean-Rémy Yama comes in a pre-electoral context with the presidential election that is supposed to be held during 2023 and in which the outgoing President, Ali Bongo Ondimba, is allegedly going to seek re-election.
It is feared that the arbitrary detention of Jean-Rémy Yama is intended to prevent him from garnering support in favor of political change in the run-up to the 2023 presidential election, whilst Dynamique Unitaire and TLP-Gabon continue to advocate for and promote democratic political change in Gabon.
Through the activism of its members, ACAT-France continues to advocate for the release of Jean-Rémy Yama and consequently called on the Gabonese authorities at the beginning of January 2023. On the occasion of his visit to Gabon on March 1 and 2 2023, ACAT-France called the attention of the French President to this case with the campaign “Central African Tour: Are you going to address the issue of political prisoners, Mr Macron?”
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