[Mali] AfricTivistes calls on the junta to respect fundamental rights!

[Mali] AfricTivistes calls on the junta to respect fundamental rights!

On Wednesday April 10th, the President of Mali’s transitional government, Assimi Goïta, decreed the suspension “until further notice” of the activities of political parties and associations throughout the country.

Since then, several opinion leaders, organisations and political parties have denounced an “unprecedented” act that “violates” all the country’s constitutional and legislative texts, while undermining democratic freedoms. 

The 80 parties and organisations of the “March 31st statement“, which brings together almost all of the country’s political movements, decried the “serious attacks on democratic freedoms.” Furthermore, leading Malian opinion leaders have also strongly reacted against the junat’s move mainly on social networks.

On Thursday April 11th, the High Authority for Communication (HAC) issued a press release calling on “all media (radio, TV, print and online newspapers) to stop broadcasting and publishing the activities of political parties and the political activities of associations”. The regulatory body’s decision sparked calls for “civil disobedience” and strong reactions from various organisations. In a press release issued the same day the Maison de la Presse rejected the HAC’s “legally unfounded” injunctions while urging the mediato “remain steadfast, united and actively involved in defending the citizen’s right to information.” 

It could be recalled that Joliba TV News was suspended for two months on November 3rd, 2022 by the Haute Autorité de la communication (HAC) after broadcasting a critical editorial by Malian journalist Mohamed Attaher Halidou on the junta’s management of the political transition.

Consequently, AfricTivistes expresses its deep concern at this appalling decision, which tramples on fundamental rights to civic, religious and political participation, and deems the “public order” grounds cited in this instance to be ill-advised.

In complete solidarity with Malian active forces, AfricTivistes calls on the transitional authorities to reconsider the decision to suspend political activities and to work on a “roadmap” aimed at completing the current transition process while upholding fundamental freedoms.

We consider that this suspension is likely to hinder the implementation of an inclusive transition process in the country. It constitutes a flagrant violation of the Constitution, adopted on June 18th, 2023 by Malian citizens under the current transition. Article 17 of this fundamental charter stipulates that “The State recognises and guarantees (…) freedom of association, assembly, procession and demonstration”. This suspension also undermines the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, precisely in articles 10 and 11.

We also strongly condemn the censorship and restrictions on press freedom, an essential pillar of any democratic society. These restrictions  violate articles 14 and 15 of the same Constitution. Censorship of any kind violates the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) and the Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa, which was drawn up in accordance with paragraph 1 of article 45 of the ACHPR.

The authorities’ latest move comes against the backdrop of a security crisis in which the ruling junta is being heckled for failing to deliver on its commitment to organise a presidential election since taking power in 2020. 

In Mali, the opposition, journalists and pro-democracy activists are confronted with harsh measures ranging from lawsuits to restrictions on press freedom, exile and the dissolution of organisations

AfricTivistes would like to reiterate that censorship will only worsen the situation and exacerbate people’s legitimate feelings of outrage and revolt.

Lastly, we call on the Malian authorities to respect fundamental rights, including the rights of association and assembly, and the inalienable right of Malian citizens to be informed in a free and transparent way.

Share 👉🏿
Receive our newsletter

Recent Post

Related articles

Connecting Africa for an enhanced citizenship !