AI: Mali authorities must investigate torture, disappearances

[JURIST] Malian soldiers loyal to the country's coup leader, Captain Amadou Sanogo, have been committing human rights violations, including torture, extra-judicial killings, and enforced disappearances, Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] said in a report [text, PDF; press release] on Tuesday. The report documented inhumane detention conditions of opposition forces, including soldiers who were detained during a failed counter-coup in April. The report also alleged numerous incidents of torture and human rights violations of detained prisoners. AI called on the Malian authorities to investigate the allegations made in the report and ensure human rights protections in the future. AI's report mirrors the findings a similar report [JURIST report] released by Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] last week, which alleged Malian soldiers have been abducting and torturing opposition soldiers and journalists.

International Criminal Court (ICC) Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said earlier this month that her office is opening a preliminary examination [JURIST report] of the recent violence in Mali, after the ICC received a letter from Malian government officials requesting an ICC investigation. Malian Justice Minister Malick Coulibaly said earlier this month that he would ask the ICC to open an investigation [JURIST report]. In May AI reported that Mali is facing its worst human rights crisis [JURIST report] since it gained independence in 1960. HRW released a similar report in April claiming that all sides to the conflict are committing war crimes [JURIST report]. Earlier in April the ICC said they would monitor the situation [JURIST report] in Mali for potential crimes under the ICC's jurisdiction. All of this has come after Malian soldiers took control of the government [JURIST report] and suspended the constitution in March. Many in the international community have expressed concern over the situation, including the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees [JURIST reports]. The turmoil began when Taureg rebels attacked Malian soldiers [Al Jazeera report].

 

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