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

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

This is regrettable 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.

PARIS, France, December 3, 2021 / APO Group / –

The Court of Justice of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has suspended all proceedings related to human rights violations in Mali and Guinea, preventing victims from obtaining justice and reparation, four human rights organizations bitterly regret Lawyers 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 of ongoing legal proceedings that are ipso facto affected. due to the sanctions imposed by ECOWAS against Mali and Guinea as a result of the recent coups d’état in these two countries.

On September 30, 2021, the President of the Court of Justice decided to suspend the proceedings relating to Mali and Guinea in application of the decision taken by the 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 involving either of these two countries, in contradiction with the right of the victims to obtain justice in a timely manner.

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

This is regrettable 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 defense and security forces cracked down on protesters with excessive force in 2019 and 2020.

Therefore, our organizations call on the ECOWAS Heads of State, whose treaty establishes the protection of human rights as a fundamental principle, to exclude from their sanctions the suspension of the proceedings on Mali and Guinea before the Court of Justice. Our organizations would also like to remind the states of Mali and Guinea of ​​their obligations as the main actors responsible for respecting human rights, which includes granting victims access to justice.

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