Select this search icon to access the amnesty.ca search form

Main menu

Facebook Share

Madagascar

    April 24, 2019

    Thousands of people continue to languish in Malagasy prisons without having been found guilty of any crime due to the excessive use of pre-trial detention, Amnesty International said on Africa Pretrial Detention Day.

    Six months after an Amnesty report exposed the alarming use of pre-trial detention in the island nation, the situation has worsened, and earlier this month a student was found dead after spending a night in police custody.

    “The excessive use of pre-trial detention in Madagascar is unjust and abusive, and it has now reached crisis levels with up to 14,000 people held,” said Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for Southern Africa.

    “Pre-trial detention is mostly used against poor people who cannot afford lawyers to get them out of prison. The Malagasy authorities cannot continue keeping thousands of people who have not been found guilty of any crime in jail.”

    February 01, 2019

    Malagasy authorities must fully investigate the gruesome killing of eight men suspected of being cattle thieves, Amnesty International said today after photos of their bullet-riddled bodies were released. The eight men were shot dead by police after they allegedly tried to steal from a shop. Three policemen were also injured during the confrontation.

    The organization has independently verified the harrowing images, taken after the men were shot dead following a confrontation with police on 25 January in Betroka, southern Madagascar.

    “These brutal killings are the latest example of Madagascar’s security forces resorting to excessive and lethal force with impunity,” said Tigere Chagutah, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Southern Africa.

    “The Malagasy authorities must launch a prompt, effective and independent investigation into the incident, including these killings and, if an excessive or unnecessary use of force is demonstrated, bring those suspected of criminal responsibility to justice in fair trials.”

    January 17, 2019

    The next president of Madagascar, Andry Rajoelina, must tackle historic human rights violations, including excessive use of pretrial detention and arbitrary detentions of human rights defenders, Amnesty International said ahead of his inauguration tomorrow.

    In recent years there has been a spike in human rights violations in the island nation. Thousands of people are held in unjustified and prolonged pre-trial detention, while environmental rights defenders have been targeted simply for working to protect the country’s natural resources, such as rosewood.

    Rajoelina was declared the president-elect of Madagascar after the second round of presidential elections on 19 December 2018.

    “The human rights situation has been deteriorating in Madagascar in recent years. For example, environmental activists have been jailed and harassed for speaking out against the alleged illegal trafficking of rosewood and environmental degradation caused by multinational corporations,” said Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for Southern Africa.

    November 05, 2018

    The next government of Madagascar must bring an end to the brutal suppression of human rights in the country, Amnesty International said ahead of the island nation’s upcoming election.

    Amid a recent spike in human rights violations, thousands of people have been held in unjustified pre-trial detention, while environmental human rights defenders have been targeted for protecting the country’s natural resources, such as rosewood. The first round of presidential elections are scheduled for 7 November.

    “In Madagascar it has become very dangerous to speak out against the illegal trafficking of rosewood and environmental degradation caused by multinational corporations,” said Muleya Mwananyanda, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for Southern Africa.

    “Thousands of people are languishing in jail without having been found guilty of any crime, owing to the government’s excessive and unjustified use of pre-trial detention.”

    Targeting of activists

    October 23, 2018
    52 pre-trial detainees died in Madagascar’s prisons in 2017 Many pre-trial detainees, including children and women, held in lengthy detentions for petty crimes such as minor theft Appalling conditions of detention amount to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment

    People who have not been found guilty of any crime are dying in Madagascar’s prisons due to appalling conditions, Amnesty International said today, as it released a report highlighting how the Malagasy authorities’ excessive use of pre-trial detention is harming the poorest people in society. The organization documented how, in 2017 alone, 52 out of the 129 detainees who died in Madagascar’s prisons were in pre-trial detention.

    June 08, 2018

    An absurd $8 USD fine handed to an environmental activist on fabricated charges is the latest example of the Malagasy government’s continued crackdown on people speaking out against the illegal trafficking of the country’s natural resources, Amnesty International said.

    Christopher Manenjika was today found guilty on trumped-up charges of “rebellion” and “insult to public agents” after spending more than three weeks in detention. His prosecution follows several similar convictions of environmental activists on the island, many of whom are facing prison sentences.

    “There is a striking resemblance between Christopher’s case and that of other environmental activists in Madagascar, who have also faced accusations of ‘rebellion’ as an excuse to silence them,” said Makmid Kamara, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director of Global Issues.

    May 23, 2018

    In response to the Fianarantsoa Appeal Court’s decision to uphold a two-year suspended jail sentence against environmental human rights defender Raleva for questioning the legality of a Chinese gold mining company’s activities, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for Southern Africa Deprose Muchena said:

    “By upholding the ludicrous charge of ‘using a false title’ against Raleva, the court has confirmed our worst fears that challenging big corporates is costly in Madagascar.

    “Raleva is not a criminal. This suspended sentence is designed to silence him and send a chilling message to other activists campaigning for human rights and the environment.

    “The Malagasy authorities should be protecting activists like Raleva, who are fighting to preserve the natural resources of the country for future generations, not misusing the courts to muzzle them. The sentence against Raleva must be quashed and all charges against him dropped.” 

    Background

    April 24, 2018

    Malagasy authorities must ensure a prompt, thorough and impartial investigation into the killing of two demonstrators in Antananarivo and perpetrators must be brought to book, Amnesty International said today. The investigation’s report should be made public. Members of the security forces present at the scene and suspected to be responsible should be suspended pending the investigation and if there is relevant admissible evidence, brought to justice in proceedings that meet international standards of fairness. Victims and relatives must be provided with access to effective remedies and adequate reparations, including compensation.

    Malagasy security forces opened fire on protesters on 21 April 2018, causing the deaths of two people. The protesters were demonstrating against the new electoral laws which were voted early April, ahead of the elections planed for the end of the year, as they believe they favour the party in power and could block out their candidates from running in the upcoming presidential elections.

    March 15, 2018

    Responding to a video showing Malagasy police beating and humiliating dozens of villagers in the same town where, in February 2017, law enforcement officials turned on citizens and set fire to their houses after two policemen were killed, Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for Southern Africa:

    “The behaviour of the police, as depicted in the video, is utterly abhorrent and condemnable. This brutality shows the contempt with which the police in Madagascar treat human life.

    “It is totally unacceptable that the Malagasy police should ill-treat and abuse the same people they have a duty to protect. There is no justification for beating people with sticks, forcing them to lie face-down or making them walk on their knees.

    “The authorities should carry out a prompt and impartial investigation into the police’s conduct and bring any officer suspected to be responsible to justice in proceedings that meet international standards. The authorities should also provide redress to the victims.”

    Background

    February 22, 2018
    Amnesty International publishes State of the World’s Human Rights report for 2017 to 2018 “Last year our world was immersed in crises, with prominent leaders offering us a nightmarish vision of a society blinded by hatred and fear. This emboldened those who promote bigotry, but it inspired far more people to campaign for a more hopeful future,” says Salil Shetty, head of Amnesty International

    The world is reaping the terrifying consequences of hate-filled rhetoric that threatens to normalize massive discrimination against marginalized groups, Amnesty International warned today as it launched its annual assessment of human rights.

    Nevertheless, the organization found that a growing movement of both first-time and seasoned activists campaigning for social justice provides real hope of reversing the slide towards oppression.

    The report, The State of the World’s Human Rights, covers 159 countries and delivers the most comprehensive analysis of the state of human rights in the world today.

    June 08, 2017

    Fernand Cello, a Malagasy investigative journalist, has had three charges which were related to his journalism work dropped. These charges were related to his journalism work. He is also now receiving the medical care he needs.

    The charges of ‘defamation’, ‘endangering state security’, and ‘incitation to hatred’ which were related to Fernand Cello’s journalism work have been dropped. The Malagasy investigative journalist is still facing four other charges related to accusations that he stole a cheque book. He has denied these allegations.

    Fernand Cello, whose real name is Avimana Fernand, was arrested on Friday 5 May as he was leaving a private clinic in Antananarivo where he had spent several days receiving treatment for angina. The arrest came after he exposed an illegal sapphire mining site. The company managing the site was eventually ordered by the ministry of mining to suspend its operations for contravening the mining code.

    Subscribe to Madagascar