See also:
» 18.05.2010 - Madagascar rivals to meet in new talks
» 19.04.2010 - Coup attempt in Madagascar...?
» 15.04.2010 - Madagascar rivals resume dialogue
» 14.04.2010 - Military threat sparks Madagascar dialogue
» 08.04.2010 - Sacked Madagascar minister denies coup plot
» 25.01.2010 - AU back in Madagascar’s boiling waters
» 17.12.2009 - Rajoelina calls elections, tells mediators to back-off
» 08.10.2009 - Madagascar should move quick to conclude talks, Ban

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Politics | Society | Human rights

Madagascar coup leaders may face ICC prosecution

afrol News, 15 April - Civil society groups have filed a complaint with the International Criminal Court (ICC) against the abuses and violations of human rights in Madagascar by the current leaders. An association of victims backs the well-documented complaint.

GTT International, an association grouping the Malagasy Diaspora, together with a grouping of victims of human rights abuses in Madagascar, today announced the filing of the complaint at the ICC by its lawyers.

According to GTT, the group had commissioned "groundwork and investigations" in Madagascar and among exiled citizens during 12 months. Evidence presented the ICC included "videos and testimonies from direct and indirect victims, relatives of missing persons, incriminating several hundred people including members of the coupist regime, some of the CAPSAT mutineers, and representatives of civil society and churches strongly suspected of complicity."

All in all, paper and video evidence presented to the ICC weighed more than 5 kilograms, according to GTT.

According to the complaint, gross human rights violations have rocked the Great Island since the coup by former DJ Andry Rajoelina in February 2009. A large number of Malagasies have lost their lives or "disappeared" since the coup, but also during an army mutiny at the CAPSAT garrison in March 2009.

The evidence claims to document systematic cases of "killings, arbitrary imprisonment or other forms of deprivation of freedom, torture, rape and persecution against the civilian population." This, according to GTT, summed up as "crimes against humanity committed by the military and civilian junta," thus supporting its request for an investigation by the ICC.

"International legal experts" consulted by the group had advised that the evidence gathered was "sufficiently serious to trigger a full international investigation, which should ultimately enable the International Criminal Court to bring the perpetrators of these crimes to justice."

The complaint holds de facto President Rajoelina as the main responsible for the atrocities. Mr Rajoelina's regime is already facing sanctions from the US and the African Union (AU), while the European Union (EU) is to discuss sanctions later this month.

In addition to an alleged wave of human rights abuses, GTT holds the Rajoelina regime responsible of the social, economic and political meltdown on Madagascar after the coup.

As renewed negotiations among Madagascar's rival leaders are in the making, GTT urges nobody to accept impunity for the outlined crimes as part of a solution to the island's political problems. The group quotes the Maputo agreement outlining a Malagasy power-sharing deal, saying this did not allow for impunity. "No amnesty may be granted to those who violate the intangible and sacred rights of human beings," GTT concluded.

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