In Benin, the opposition party The Democrats announced on Friday 24 March, through a press conference, that it had initiated a special amnesty law for imprisoned political opponents and those in exile.
The initiative, which comes from the parliamentary group The Democrats, aims to ease the socio-political situation in Benin, which is characterised by a context of high tensions that have undermined social cohesion and national unity in recent years.
Thus, this bill has two (02) titles with nine (09) articles according to the president of the party’s parliamentary group. Title 1 takes into account the amnesty of political figures in prison, political detainees and all those who are provisionally released. This is the case, according to the speakers, of Réckya Madougou and Joël Aïvo.
Title 2 deals with amnesty and/or the dropping of legal proceedings against Benin’s political figures living in exile. These are Valentin Agossou DJENONTIN, Léhady Vinagnon SOGLO, Komi KOUTCHE, Sébastien Germain AJAVON, Fatouma AMADOU DJIBRIL, Amissétou AFFO DJOBO, etc., say The Democrats
Acknowledging that their number is largely insufficient to pass a bill in the National Assembly, The Democrats then invited the other parliamentary groups with a majority in parliament to spare no effort to pass the bill in the interest of Benin
In addition, Eric Houndété and his teammates prayed to “His Excellency Patrice TALON, President of the Republic and father of all Beninese, to work for the successful completion of this law, all of which will strengthen his economic, political and social record,” they said.
Moreover, this announcement of the proposed law comes in a context where the conditions of detention of political opponents such as Réckya Madougou and Joël Aïvo are widely criticised. Earlier on Friday, former President Boni Yayi had called on President Patrice Talon on the appalling conditions of detention of these two political figures. “The isolation of a detainee, deprived of any possibility of communication, of any possibility of information, of any possibility of calling his family and moreover of access to his lawyer, constitutes an act of torture,” wrote the former President of the Republic.