13 April 2023
The Observatory is concerned to learn that the President of the Bar, Raymond Obame, as well as other members of the Gabonese Bar Council, have been victims of threats and attempts at intimidation, which seriously undermine the freedom of practice of members of the Bar.
These threats have taken the form of attempted break-ins at the home of the President of the Bar, at the Bar Association and at his office in Libreville, with people having tried, in vain, to gain access to his offices by forcing the main entrance door.
The Observatory also expresses its deep concern about the serious dissensions within the bar and the split that some of its members seem to want to create. These risks undermine the legitimacy, unity and independence of the Bar.
The concern about these attacks on the freedom of practice of the members of the bar is all the greater as they are taking place in a political context that is particularly hostile to the independence of the judiciary.
The Observatory condemns in the strongest terms these attempts to break into President Raymond Obame’s office and private premises, echoing the attempts to intimidate former President Lubin Ntoutoume at the beginning of his first mandate.
The Observatory expresses its total solidarity with the entire Gabonese Bar Association and particularly with the members of the Bar Council and President Raymond Obame.