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Madagascar

    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.

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