Debato was arrested in September 1990 during a meeting reportedly held to organize a peaceful demonstration. The meeting was held at the home of a member of the unauthorized Coordinating committee for the Convocation of a National Conference (CCCCN). The government alleges that the CCCCN’s aims are to overthrow state institutions, and has charged Debato with threatening state security and public order. Debato is the former general director of the governemtn daily E Le Songo. He had left his job with state media to start an independent newspaper at the time of his arrest. He has not yet gone to trial.