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Gabon’s Ex-president & Sons On Hunger Strike

IN a dramatic turn of events, former Gabonese President Ali Bongo and two of his sons, Jalil and Bilal, have embarked on a hunger strike to protest against what their family’s lawyers describe as ‘acts of torture and barbarity’ inflicted upon them. This comes after Bongo was ousted in a military coup last year following a disputed presidential election.

Since the coup, Bongo has been confined to his house in Libreville, the capital, along with his two sons. Meanwhile, his wife Sylvia Bongo and eldest son Noureddin are being held in prison, awaiting trial on corruption charges levelled by the ruling junta.

In a strongly worded statement issued on Tuesday, the family’s legal representatives alleged grave mistreatment suffered by Noureddin, including being ‘repeatedly tortured, beaten with a hammer and crowbar, strangled, whipped, and electrocuted with a taser.’ Sylvia Bongo, according to the lawyers, was reportedly subjected to beatings, strangulation, and forced to witness the torture inflicted on her son.


The Gabonese authorities are yet to comment on these serious allegations.

Ali Bongo, 64, had ruled the oil-rich nation since 2009 when he succeeded his father, who had been in power for over 40 years. The abrupt ousting of Bongo last year in the coup has led to a series of legal and political upheavals for his family.

The lawyers representing the Bongo family have taken additional legal actions by filing a complaint with the Paris judicial court. Notably, this action coincides with an upcoming visit to France by Gabon’s junta leader, General Brice Oligui Nguema, adding a diplomatic dimension to the unfolding crisis.

The situation in Gabon remains tense amid these allegations of torture and mistreatment against the deposed president and his family. The hunger strike initiated by Bongo and his sons underscores the severity of their plight and the ongoing turmoil following last year’s military coup. The international community continues to monitor developments closely as legal actions unfold and diplomatic engagements take shape in response to these distressing events.

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