Gabon doctor who catalogued post-electoral violence detained


A doctor in Gabon who helped treat and catalogue injuries inflicted on protesters during the violent aftermath of a disputed August election has been detained for four days, a relative and rights activists said on Monday.

Sylvie Nkoghe-Mbot was arrested on Thursday at a Libreville hospital where she was visiting victims wounded last month during a rare bout of violence in the Central African country after the re-election of President Ali Bongo, her brother told Reuters.
“We still have not been told why she was detained and we haven’t been able to communicate with her,” said Rene Nkoghe, reached by telephone. “Everytime we ask questions the answer is no,” he added.

The announcement of Bongo’s narrow victory on August 31 sparked immediate allegations of fraud from the opposition, led by Jean Ping, and mass protests during which the Parliament building was badly burned.

Activists say Nkoghe-Mbot, also a union leader for medical workers, filed a “preliminary report” on September 8 documenting the injuries of victims inflicted by security forces.

A rights activist who read it said she reported six deaths and 30 injuries, some from bullets, as well as allegations of torture. The government has claimed just three people were killed, including one police officer.

The government has denied any wrongdoing in the polls and the country’s highest court rejected the opposition’s appeal for a recount on September 23 and calm has since prevailed.

However, the opposition say an unspecified number of their members remain in detention.