arrests of members of the opposition in Mali

Nieuws, gepost door: All Included op 02/07/2013 07:12:48

Wanneer: 02/07/2013 - 10:46

In Mali there has been recently repression against members of the opposition. Underneath a press release.
We ask you to help the Malian members of Afrique-Europe Interact by sending the letter of protest to Malian embassy in Brussels.

[press release and letter of protest underneath]

You can find more information about the background of the conflict in Mali on the website of Afrique-Europe-Interact including a declaration which was published by Afrique-Europe-Interact a couple of months ago and which can be downloaded here:




Best regards,
All Included, member of Afrique-Europe Interact

* PRESS RELEASE of Afrique-Europe-Interact*

28th June 2013

Detention of at least 38 members of the opposition in Mali because of participating in demonstrations despite the state of emergency

On the 8th, 13th and 17th of june in the Malian capital Bamako and in Koutiala in the south of Mali at least 38 persons have been arrested, about on third of them still being in jail up to today. They are accused of having participated in demonstrations and therefore having offended the prohibition of demonstrations of the state of emergency, which gets extended again and again since the French military intervention in the middle of january. The reason for the demonstrations were the negotiations between the Malian government and the Tuareq rebel organisation MNLA, which ended on the 18th of june in Ougadougou -the capital of Burkina Faso- with a preliminary peace treaty. Those arrested are mainly well-known members of the Malian civil society.

The subject of the negotiations in Ougadougou was the status of the city of Kidal in the north of Mali. Because since the displacement of the islamistic melitias by the French army the town was not only held by MNLA-rebels. In fact they prevented â?? with the approval of France - Malian authorities as well as the Malian army from entering the city, with the concequence that it was unclear for a long time, if the presidential elections planned for july could be even held in Kidal.

Central problem here: Big parts of the Malian population object the negotiations which have come up because of pressure from France.
Firstly, because the MNLA does not really have any considerable roots in the Tuareq-population and persues a policy only orientated towards their own interests. Secondly, because all (language-) groups living in the north have been excluded from the negotiations despite the fact that they constitute two-thirds of the local population. Thirdly, because the amnesty which the representatives of the MNLA demand for crimes of war is strictly rejected, that is for the rapes, depredations and systematic destruction of public infrastructure by members of the MNLA (especially from january to june 2012), which has been documented in detail by human rights organizations.

The Malian section of the transnational network Afrique-Europe-Interact is criticial towards the negotiations, but without questioning them altogether. Instead the demand is for an immediate disarming of the MNLA and the conducting of decentralized organized assemblies with the involvement of all groups of the population. Because only by doing this corruption, nepotism and mismanagement as the true causes of the current crisis could be tackled collectively â?? expecially with an eye to the bringing about of a new 'social contract' between the population and the political-institutional sphere as such. In this context the early election date in july, which was also imposed by the West lead to strident criticism, not least the extorsive linkage to the resumption of
the development aid. Because the earlier the elections, the more this plays into the hands of the old elites. Simply because the well established actors are the only ones being able to find their own candidates without longer preparation time â?? according to the general atmossphere.

Both the Malian and the European section of Afrique-Europe-Interact demand the immediate release of all arrested persons. In addition the Malian government should as quickly as possible find a solution, how the exercise of the basic rights for freedom of expression and freedom of assembly can be guaranteed despite the state of emergency.

*If you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact us or 020-3795236. we can also make direct contact to grassroot activists in Mali.

* PROTEST LETTER to the Malian Embassy:*

To the Ambassador of Mali
S.E.M. Ibrahim Bocar BA,
487 Avenue Molère
1050 Bruxelles
Tel. +32 322 345 74 32 / 345 75 89
Fax: +32 322 344 57 00

place, date

arrests of members of the opposition in Bamako und Koutiala

Dear Mr Ambassador,

with great concern I have gotten the information from the Malian and international media that so far only some of those demonstraters, who have been arrested on the 8th, 13th and 17th of june in Bamako and Koutiala have been released. Those who have been arrested are accused of having offended the requirements of the state of emergency. The reason for the demonstrations were the negotiations between the Malian government and the MNLA in Ouagadougou, which have been finished in the meantime.

I am in general aware of the fact, that the very sensitive security situation in Mali requires a high level of additional controls for the safety of the population. But at the same time I am convinced, that the state of emergency should not prevent the democratic participation of the population. Because according to article 19 of the general declaration of human rights the freedom of expression and freedom of assembly belong to the basic human rights and are not allowed to be rendered inoperative. In addition, according to my knowledge the demonstrations in Bamako and Koutiala were by no means directed against
the interests of the Malian society. The demands of the protesters rather seem to be a substantial support for the „Feuille De Route Pour La Transaition“, which was adopted by the Malian parliament on the 29th of january. Because basically the demonstrators had three demands:
Firstly the complete disarming of the MNLA; secondly the participation of all demographic groups living in the north in the negotiations and thirdly the punishability of all of those crimes which were committed during the war respective the occupation.

It is against this background that I urgently ask you to put yourself out for the release of those who are still imprisoned. In addition I think that ways should be found how one can guarantee the freedom of expression and freedom of assembly in the future despite the state of emergency. Because in general there is no doubt that the Malian civil society has acted again and again very responsable in the course of the crisis. Therefore I want to express my great admiration that the Malian society has managed it in the past one and a half years to keep up its inner cohesian despite the big problems. To me this seems to be absolutely exemplary – not only for Africa.

With best regards,



[spam deleted]

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