GABON: French-Gabonese lawyer Anges-Kévin Nzigou victim of an attempted kidnapping
The OIAD denounces with the greatest firmness the attempted kidnapping of Mr. Anges-Kévin Nzigou, a French-Gabonese lawyer registered at the Gabonese bar on the night of 24 to 25 November.
It would appear that this attempted kidnapping was carried out by the Gabonese State’s special services.
Mr. Nzigou is a committed lawyer who, on many occasions, and in a very difficult context, has defended political opponents and personalities in a delicate relationship with the authorities. He had recently carried an OIAD mandate concerning Me Michelle Ndoki in Cameroon.
The OIAD calls on the Gabonese authorities to respect the Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers, adopted by the United Nations in Havana in 1990, which provide that:
“The Government shall ensure that lawyers (a) are able to perform all their professional functions without hindrance, intimidation, harassment or undue interference; (b) are able to travel and consult their clients freely, both within and outside the country; and (c) are not subject to, or threatened with, prosecution or economic or other sanctions for any action taken in accordance with their recognized professional obligations and standards and ethics” (Principle No. 16).
The OIAD calls for all measures to be taken to ensure Mr. Nzigou’s safety and invites the Gabonese authorities to do everything in their power to determine the conditions under which this attempted kidnapping was carried out and the responsibilities of this exaction and to ensure that any sanctions are taken against those who have thus attempted to violate the most essential rights of defence and the very functioning of the judicial institution.