In August 2020, OMCT in the framework of ProtectDefenders.eu provided a grant to support the Togolese journalist Ferdinand Mensha Ayité after he was victim of reprisals as a result of his work. The assistance allocated by OMCT aimed at covering the legal defence costs of Mr Ayité, as well as the installation of a security system in his home, in order to guarantee his safety and to ensure the continuation of his human rights work.
Mr. Ferdinand Mensha Ayité is the director of publication of the newspaper l’Alternative, a biweekly news and investigative newspaper engaged in denouncing corruption and documenting human rights violations in Togo.
In its issue published on 9 June 2020, l’Alternative revealed a case of massive embezzlement in the Togolese oil sector. Shortly after, Mr. Ayité started receiving threats, particularly through anonymous phone calls, and became extremely concerned for his safety. A month later, one of the people who was directly named in the embezzlement scandal filed a defamation complaint against Mr. Ayité and requested that all copies of the June 9 issue be destroyed, and that the disputed publication be removed from the website and the newspaper social networks.