After the face to face meeting between French President Emmanuel Macron and Beninese President Patrice Talon, the two Heads of State held a joint press conference on Wednesday 27 July 2021. On the situation of political prisoners, Patrice Talon believes that justice must do its job and that the accused must pay for their actions.
“Releasing people who have committed crimes is not a political opening. This is President Patrice Talon’s response to the press on the situation of political detainees in Benin, notably Joël Aïvo and Reckya Madougou. According to the chief magistrate, politics is essential, but it must not pollute economic issues. The Beninese President acknowledged that the political situation in Benin in recent years has seemed to damage the country’s image. “The reforms undertaken could not please everyone, because they called into question several achievements.
Everyone can defend their opinion but …..
The defence of opinions is a right conferred on all citizens. On the other hand, the use of inappropriate means to express oneself is another debate, says President Patrice Talon. According to him, a state will not tolerate the use of criminal means to make itself heard. The Beninese head of state takes as proof the assault on the United States Capitol on 6 January 2021 at the instigation of President Donald Trump during the 2020 presidential election, which led to the conviction of several people found guilty of rioting.
Aïvo and Madougou and Cie cases: Talon’s nuances.
The recurrent question of the release of Joël Aïvo and Reckya Madougou tends to confuse that the acts were not committed, according to Patrice Talon. “It is not a question of political accusations but the acts are real,” the current tenant of the Marina insisted. At the same time, he maintained that he had not issued any decree to turn some Beninese into political exiles. “They chose not to answer for their actions and fled the country,” continued President Patrice Talon, who invited them to return to the fold so that justice could clear them.
Reckya Madougou was arrested on 2 March 2021 after a joint meeting with Joël Aïvo in Porto-Novo. The woman whose candidacy for the presidential elections of 11 April 2021 was rejected by the Autonomous National Electoral Commission (CENA) is being prosecuted for “criminal association” and “financing of terrorism”.