Mrs Navanethem Pillay,
Office Of The United Nations Commissioner For Human Rights,
52 Rue Des Paquis,
CH 1201 Geneva,
Sunday 15th January 2012.
I would like to direct your attention to an ongoing and persistent pattern of politically motivated harassment, detention and torture of Government opponents in the Seychelles. Mr. Jean Paul Isaac, the General Secretary of the Seychelles Freedom Party (SFP), was wrongfully arrested on January 5th 2012 following written comments on Facebook regarding drug trafficking in the Seychelles. He was taken by four Police Officers from his Office in Victoria and unlawfully detained without charge for several hours at the Central Police Station. This was an alarming development considering that on a previous occasion, Mr. Isaac had suffered severe beatings and injuries while held in police custody.
Mr. Jean Paul Isaac’s latest experience follows a long and well established pattern of political oppression that began on the 5th of June 1977 when an illegal Government was forcefully imposed on the people of Seychelles following a coup d’etat led by France Albert Rene. All members of the opposition that disagreed and opposed the one party Government of the Seychelles were imprisoned, murdered or forced into exile. Albert Rene hired assassins who tracked down and brutally murdered opposition leader Mr. Gerard Hoarau in the UK. Those who dared remain in Seychelles were imprisoned, tortured and murdered by goon squads loyal to Rene. Some political opponents vanished without trace in a reign of terror that had never before been witnessed in the history of the Seychelles.
By the time any kind of political movement was again tolerated in the Seychelles, Rene and his supporters had fully consolidated their grip on the reins of power. Opposition parties were nothing more than a political cosmetic for legitimizing Rene’s Government in the eyes of the world. It was no surprise when Mr. James Alix Michel, the longest serving member of Rene’s cabinet, replaced Rene as the President of Seychelles to the edge of economic and political bankruptcy. Under the smokescreen of a “Somali Piracy” threat, he has invited foreign troops to protect his regime against growing internal political opposition in the Seychelles and the Seychellois community living overseas. Seychelles is now host to Gurkha troops from Nepal, soldiers from UAE and has even invited the Chinese to build a Naval Base in the Seychelles.
It culminated in the recent boycott of National Assembly elections in the Seychelles by two third of eligible voters. The most that the people of Seychelles could muster ion the way of a public protest without risking their lives in a direct confrontation with the foreign troops that Michel has stationed in the Seychelles to perpetuate his regime. We now live under the heel of a brutal and reckless regime which has never been asked to account for its oppression against the people of Seychelles.
I would appreciate you sending a representative to investigate and report on this matter that is of great importance to the Seychelles and its place in the world community. Thank You.
Gary E Tall. (SEYCHELLES FREEDOM PARTY REPRESENTATIVE UNITED KINGDOM)