All proceedings concerning Mali and Guinea suspended: an obstruction of justice for victims of human rights violations

03 Dec, 2021 - 13:12 0 Views
All proceedings concerning Mali and Guinea suspended: an obstruction of justice for victims of human rights violations

The Herald

International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH)

The Court of Justice of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has suspended all proceedings concerning human rights violations in Mali and Guinea, preventing victims from obtaining justice and reparation, four human rights organisations regret bitterlyLawyers Without Borders Canada (LWBC), the Association Malienne des Droits de l’Homme (AMDH), the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and Amnesty International are deeply concerned about the consequences for ongoing judicial proceedings which are ipso facto impacted by the sanctions taken by ECOWAS against Mali and Guinea following the recent coups d’état in these two countries.

On 30 September 2021, the President of the Court of Justice decided to suspend proceedings concerning Mali and Guinea in application of the decision made by Heads of State at the ECOWAS summit to suspend these two Member States

This measure has the effect of suspending all pending proceedings before the Court of Justice which involve either of these two countries, in contradiction with the right of victims to obtain justice in a timely manner.

The suspension of proceedings concerning Mali and Guinea is also an obstacle for victims of human rights violations in these two countries to assert their rights before the ECOWAS Court of Justice, with the knowledge that the proceedings cannot succeed there.

This is unfortunate at a time when victims of human rights violations committed in the context of the conflict in Mali are struggling to access justice at the national level. The same is true in Guinea, where defence and security forces repressed demonstrators with excessive force in 2019 and 2020.

Our organisations therefore call on the Heads of State of ECOWAS, whose treaty establishes the protection of human rights as a fundamental principle, to exclude the suspension of proceedings concerning Mali and Guinea before the Court of Justice from its sanctions. Our organisations would also like to remind the Malian and Guinean states of their obligations as the primary actors responsible for the respect of human rights, which includes granting victims access to justice.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH).

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