UN rights expert calls on Mali coup leaders for ‘immediate release’ of detained officials


An independent UN human rights expert has called on Mali’s coup leaders to release former government officials who have been detained for more than one month, saying their detention  contravenes international and regional human rights instruments to which Mali is a party.

Alioune Tine said in a news release on Wednesday that “there is no legal basis for detention of the former prime minister, the former president of the National Assembly, and other former Malian officials taken into custody in the coup d’état”.

“I call on the National Committee for the Salvation of the People (CNSP) to comply with Mali’s international human rights obligations … everyone arrested during the coup must be released immediately and unconditionally.”

According to the UN human rights office (OHCHR), at least 13 people, among the 18 arrested by coup leaders on August 18, are still being held illegally, at the Kati military camp in Bamako, in spite of calls for their release from global and regional leaders.

Among those who called for their immediate release are UN Secretary-General António Guterres and African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat.

Under international law, no one should be deprived of liberty except in accordance with the law. Anyone arrested must be informed at the time of arrest of the reasons for their arrest and promptly informed of any charges against them, added the news release.

“I urge the CNSP to scrupulously respect their rights, including the right to communicate with their families and lawyers and to receive visits, in particular from family members,” Mr. Tine said.

“But above all, I urge the CNSP to release them immediately.” (Source: UN News)