government: presidential republic - republic under transition to multiparty democratic rule
state of civil and political rights: Partly free
constitution: multiparty draft constitution approved by High Council of the Republic 1 July 1992; adopted by public referendum 27 September 1992
legal system: customary law system - based on French system
legislative system: unicameral National Assembly
judicial system: Court of Appeal, Supreme Court
religion: Christian 29%, Muslim 20%, indigenous beliefs 51%
year of last executions: 0-0-0
death sentences: 0
international treaties on human rights and the death penalty:
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
1st Optional Protocol to the Covenant
Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (aiming to the abolition of the death penalty)
Convention on the Rights of the Child
Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
On June 23, 2009, Togo's parliament voted unanimously to abolish the death penalty.
On 14 September 2016, respectively, Togo and the Dominican Republic acceded to the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aiming at the abolition of the death penalty.
Thirteen people were condemned to death in December 1986, for their part in a failed coup d’état in September 1986. Their sentences were commuted to life imprisonment by President Gnassingbe Eyadéma in October 1987.
President Eyadema came to power in 1967 following a military coup. He suspended the constitution and dissolved all political parties.
In 1991, political parties were again made legal and multiparty elections were promised. A democratic constitution was adopted in 1992. The transition faltered, however, as soldiers and secret police harassed, attacked, or killed opposition supporters. Eyadema won fraudulent elections in 1993 and 1998.
Africa's longest-serving leader, he won another five-year term as president in elections held in June 2003 from which his main rival was barred from competing, and the electoral code was amended to favour Eyadema's candidacy.
The last execution in Togo took place in 1978.
President Gnassingbe’ Eyadema governed the country for almost 40 years by the use of repression, fraudulent elections and a puppet political party. Following his death on February 5, 2005, the army named his son Faure’ Gnassingbe’ as successor, but after the reaction of the African Union and of the International Community elections were called for and held on April 24, 2005.
Faure’ Gnassingbe’ proclaimed himself winner of the election but the outcome was heavily contested by the opposition and approximately 100 people died in the ensuing riots which broke out all over the country.
Faure’ Gnassingbe’ was accredited with having obtained a majority of 60% of the vote and was sworn in as President of Togo on May 5, 2005.
On 19 December 2016 Togo voted in favor of the UNGA Resolution for a universal moratorium on executions, but did not co-sponsored it as in 2014. In 2012 and 2010 Togo voted in favour. In 2008 and 2007 abstained.
On 29 December 2017 Togo voted in favor of the Resolution on death penalty (L6/17) at the 36° session of the UN Council on HUman Rights.
On 17 December 2018, Togo co-sponsored and voted in favour of the UNGA Resolution for a universal moratorium on executions.