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1 Good News from the Republic of Congo: Individuals Held Since 2004 Released!

Newsletter
Amnesty International USA Group 48

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2 SOMALIA: Urgent Action Unjust Imprisonment, Legal Concern 4 INDONESIA: Action Update - Religious freedom under attack as Shia villagers face eviction 5 CHAD: End Human Rights Violations in Prisons 7 CHINA: Urgent Action Chinese Woman Faces Imminent Execution, Death Penalty, Imminent Execution, Unfair Trial 9 MALI: Civilians At Risk From All Sides Of The Conflict AIUSA-Group 48 http://aipdx.org 503-227-1878 Next Meeting: Friday February 8th First Unitarian Church 1011 SW 12th Ave 7:00pm informal gathering 7:30pm meeting starts
NewsLetter Designed By Michelle Whitlock MichelleWhitlock.com

Good News from the Republic of Congo: Individuals Held Since 2004 Released!

held in the Republic of Congo held since 2004, Medard Manwaka Egbonde, Bosch Ndala Umba, and Germain Ndabamenya Etikilome have been released. Amnesty International thanks everyone for all the action taken for these individuals over the years.

Good News! The three individuals

By Terrie Rodello, AIUSA Republic of Congo Country Specialist and AIUSA Central Africa RAN Coordinator

about his status and will let us know more as soon as possible.

Germain Ndabamenya Etikolome is considered a free man. However, his legal status in Congo is still unclear as his application for asylum was rejected while in detention and he believes that his life is still at risk in Congo. The IS Medard Manwaka Egbonde was granted is awaiting advice from the Refugee refugee status while in detention and team on what steps to take to assist according to Germain Ndabamenya him in finding a solution to his case. Etikolome, the UNHCR has already The UNHCR office in Brazzaville did relocated him to a third country. not provide any assistance to him and Mr. Bosch Ndala Umba was released in his family. He was completely destitute. November. The International Secretariat Fortunately, the IS was able to provide Germain Ndabamenya with a relief (IS) said it is trying to get more info

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fund to assist him with his social reintegration. He has sent the following thank you note to Amnesty International. Here is the English translation of his message "To Amnesty International, I would like to take this opportunity to send you my sincere thanks for the unreserved efforts and all the pressure exerted by you to get me released from a long prison sentence which lasted almost 9 years in the repressive Direction Centrale des Renseignements Militaires (DCRM) and the Direction Gnrale de la Surveillance du Territoire (DGST) from 29th March 2004 to 3rd September 2012 in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo. My wife alone could not have achieved such a positive result. Furthermore, you have helped my family financially, allowing them to cope with numerous requirements. I owe you all my gratitude and may God bless our organization, Amnesty International, giving it a long life through its activities. The same thanks go straight to all Amnesty International members who supported me with their letters and let me know that the world had not forgotten me. They showed great courage and hope in fighting for justice and my release. May they find here the expression of my profound gratitude. Finally, may Jesus Christ bless you. Yours sincerely, Mr NDABAMENYA Germain"
Abdiaziz Abdnur Ibrahim (m)

Please share this information with your groups and all who took action for these individuals. I am awaiting information from the International Secretariat about possible follow-up actions, such as writing letters of support or raising funds on their behalf. This small thank-you note is another reminder that our work for even one individual from a small country like the Republic of Congo is very important to that individual and his/ her family, If I ever doubt the importance of our work for individuals, I will reread this thank-you note, a note similar to the note I received in the 1990s from a released prisoner of conscience from Morocco in which he expressed thanks to Amnesty International members for not forgetting him. Amnesty International members did not forget him. He was eventually freed. From 2004 to 2012, Amnesty International members did not forget these men and their families. These men are now free and with their families. Our work for individuals is important. Nothing else needs to be said. I will report any news about other actions as soon as I hear back from the International Secretariat. Thank you very much for your work.

SOMALIA: Urgent Action - Unjust Imprisonment, Legal Concern


forces. The information Abdiaziz Abdnur Ibrahim gained from his interview with the alleged rape victim has not been published. The alleged victim of rape has also been charged with insult to a national institution, and for falsifying an accusation against the Somali government.

charged with insulting a national institution, following his in- Three other individuals have also been charged in connection vestigation into an alleged rape involving government forces. with the case: the husband of the alleged victim, a woman believed to be a contact of the alleged victim, and a man beThe woman who reported the rape has also been charged with lieved to have been a contact of the journalist. They have falsifying an accusation. been charged with assisting a suspected person and for assisting in obtaining a bribe. The hearing will take place on On January 29th, Abdiaziz Abdnur Ibrahim was charged February 2nd. under Article 269 of the Somali penal code with insult to a national institution, publishing a media report and paying a On January 26th, Abdiaziz Abdnur Ibrahim and others bribe to create a false story. He has been arbitrarily detained detained in relation to this case were moved to the central since January 10th following his investigation into the alleged prison, where conditions are severe. Since their initial detenrape of an internally displaced woman by Somali security tion, they have had only intermittent access to lawyers.

Freelance journalist Abdiaziz Abdnur Ibrahim has been

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It is understood that part of the evidence to support the charges is the medical records of the alleged victim of rape. It is unclear whether any steps have been taken to respect the privacy of the alleged victim and protect her identity.
Additional Information

Calling upon them, until their release, to allow Abdiaziz Abdnur Ibrahim and others detained in connection with the case full access to lawyers, doctors and family members.
Appeals to

On January 18th, the government issued a public statement in which it claimed that the allegation of rape made by the woman Abdiaziz Abdnur Ibrahim interviewed was false, and accused him of fabricating the story. By declaring the detainees guilty in the press, even before a trial, the authorities disregarded their presumption of innocence, which is a fundamental component of the right to a fair trial.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE MARCH 13th, 2013 TO: Minister of Interior and National Security H.E. Abdikaram Hussein Guled, Ministry of Interior Mogadishu, SOMALIA Email: guuleed20@hotmail.com Salutation: Dear Minister

Minister of Justice H.E. Abdullahi Abyan Nur Ministry of Justice Mogadishu, SOMALIA In November 2012, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud stated Email: justicesom@hotmail.com that security personnel who commit rape should be held acSalutation: Dear Minister countable, and proposed the death penalty. While those who commit rape and other forms of sexual violence must be held State Minister of the Presidential Palace H.E Farah Sheikh Abdulkader accountable, Amnesty International opposes the use of the Office of the President death penalty in all circumstances. Mogadishu, There are regular reports of rape and other forms of sexual vi- SOMALIA olence against women and girls living in internally displaced Email: faaraxsheekh@yahoo.com peoples settlements in Mogadishu, sometimes alleged to have Salutation: Dear Minister been carried out by men wearing government uniforms. Postage Rates The police have a responsibility to take positive measures to prevent sexual and gender based violence as well as to act Within the United States with due diligence to investigate all allegations of rape and $0.31 - Postcards other forms of sexual violence, and where sufficient admis$0.45 - Letters and Cards up to 1 oz. sible evidence exists, prosecutions should take place in fair trials without resort to the death penalty. In addition, there To Canada should be no targeting of journalists who investigate such $0.80 - Postcards $0.80 - Airmail Letters and Cards up to 1 oz. allegations. At least two other journalists were questioned by CID in connection to the Al Jazeera report, including one radio journalist who was detained overnight at the National Security Agency facilities. Please write immediately in English, Somali or your own language: Calling on the Somali authorities to drop all charges against Abdiaziz Abdnur Ibrahim and others detained in connection with the case, and for their immediate and unconditional release;
Action
To Mexico $0.84 - Postcards $0.84 - Airmail Letters and Cards up to 1 oz. To all other destination countries $1.05 - Postcards $1.05 - Airmail Letters and Cards up to 1 oz.

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Ambassador Elmi Ahmed Duale Embassy of Somalia,

Copies to

2600 Virginia Avenue Northwest, Washington, DC 20037-1905 Phone: 1 202 338 8693

INDONESIA: Action Update - Religious freedom under attack as Shia villagers face eviction
January 15, 2013
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according to their wishes, and help them to rebuild the homes that were damaged or destroyed, said Isabelle Arradon of Amnesty Internationals Asia Pacific Programme. They must also end discrimination against religious minorities in the country and investigate reports that the local and provincial authorities are coercing Shia followers to renounce their faith before they are allowed to return to their homes. Those involved in the attack on the Shia community in August must also be brought to justice in proceedings which meet international standards of fairness, without the imposition of the death penalty. Conditions in the displaced Shia communitys temporary shelter have continued to deteriorate. Since January Ist, the East Java provincial police have withdrawn the officers who had been protecting the community. In late December, the local authorities halted food supplies and medical services. They had previously cut off food supplies on November 22nd which had resumed on December 4th. Some of the children in the shelter have fallen sick over the last few weeks. The Indonesian authorities must ensure that the community is granted immediate access to essential services such as food and health services. In particular, more needs to be done to ensure that children who are currently unwell get access to adequate medical care, said Isabelle Arradon. The community, from Karang Gayam village in the Sampang district, were displaced in August 2012 when an anti-Shia mob of around 500 people attacked the community with sharp weapons and stones. One person was killed and dozens were injured. The mob also set fire to 35 houses belonging to the Shia community. Five people have so far been charged with the attack.

The threatened forced relocation of a Shia community living


in temporary shelter in East Java is yet more evidence of the continuing discrimination against religious minorities in Indonesia, said Amnesty International. An estimated 165 Shias, including 48 children, have been living in inadequate conditions at a sports complex in Sampang district on Madura Island since August 2012 when they were displaced after their village was attacked by a mob. Credible local sources told Amnesty International that the authorities have given the villagers until March to convert to Indonesias majority religion Sunni Islam if they wish to return to their homes. The Indonesian authorities must guarantee the safe, voluntary and dignified return of the Shia community to their homes,

At the December Writeathon and potluck, many of you signed a petition regarding this case. The problems these displaced persons are facing continue, and Amnesty continues to monitor their situation. Below is a recent press release. If you wish to write or fax on their behalf, please email me and I will re-send you the Urgent Action. Thanks, -Max Max White Country Specialist, Indonesia and Timor-Lest Amnesty International USA 503-292-8168 maxw33@comcast.net

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In May 2012, during its Universal Periodic Review at the Human Rights Council, the Indonesian government reaffirmed its commitment to ensuring the protection of freedom of religion and to address cases of religious intolerance. However religious minority groups in Indonesia, including Shia, Ahmadiyya and Christian communities, still face harassment, intimidation and attacks. Those who commit acts of violence against religious minorities are rarely punished and communities have been displaced by attacks.

In a similar case, in Lombok, East Nusa Tenggara province, an Ahmadiyya community have been living for six years in inadequate housing after their homes were attacked and burnt by a mob in February 2006. The authorities have failed to resolve their situation or bring those responsible to justice. The right to freedom of religion or belief is guaranteed in Article 18(1) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Indonesia is a state party. For more information visit, http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/ indonesia-religious-freedom-under-attack-shia-villagers-faceeviction-2013-01-15 Prisoners have very limited access to medical and health care; they lack food, drinkable water, adequate sanitary facilities, and other basic necessities such as bedding and clothes. There are no specific facilities for children, who are detained in the same cells as adults. In some prisons there was no separation between women and mens courtyards putting them at significant risk of gender-based and sexual violence. Even in prisons where women had separate accommodation it was easy for male prisoners and guards to move to and from the womens courtyard and cells. Chads prisons sometimes operate at 130% above their intended capacity.
Action

CHAD: End Human Rights Violations in Prisons


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In the October 2012, an action targeting prison conditions in

Chad was published in the newsletter after publication of the Amnesty International report Chad: We are all dying here Human Rights violations in prisons (AFR 20/007/2012). The report highlighted that prison conditions in Chad are harsh, and far below international standards. Most prisons are very old, dilapidated and overcrowded. Prisoners basic human rights, including the right to security of persons and freedom from cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment are often violated. Unfortunately, more action is needed to address these inhumane conditions.

Background

Amnesty International visited six prisons in 2011 and 2012. All were severely overcrowded. Some prisoners are victims of acts amounting to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment by prison staff or other inmates, including members of prison gangs who enjoy almost total impunity.

Please write letters and faxes to the following the Chadian authorities and ask them to insure that living conditions in prisons are compatible with human dignity and respect human rights. The Chadian authorities should provide a clean and hygienic environment for all those held in its prisons including: Providing clean water and adequate sanitation facilities, Insuring that prisoners from the overcrowded Amsinene prison in NDjamena are transferred to other adequate facilities in NDjamena taking into consideration the individual needs of the prisoners, Insuring that each prison is provided with a clinic with available basic medicines and equipped with basic medical emergency facilities such as gloves, laboratory kits, etc., Making at least one qualified medical doctor available to conduct regular clinic work at each prison,

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putting in place effective legislation for the implementation of the October 4, 2011 Ordinances On Prisons and making sure that all prison staff are informed about Harmonizing the working relations between the National and Nomadic Guard of Chad (Garde Nationale et Nomade du Tchador GNNT) and the gendarmerie in charge of the prisons by issuing clear orders to all prison directors and the GNNT that clarify how they are to work together to improve prison management. Postcards, faxes, and regular mail are preferable. Emails to Chad are not ideal since Chadian websites are not reliable for delivering Contact us emails and personal emails for officials are often blocked when criticism comes en masse. The following sample letter can be reproduced for signatures, but activists are urged to format and write their own if they can. Letters can be written in English, but if members can write in French that is excellent too. PLEASE send any replies you get back to Terrie Rodello at tarodello@igc.org so that we can share them with the International Secretariat.
Sample Letter

Please use your influence to insure that living conditions in prisons are compatible with human dignity and respect human rights. There should be a clean and hygienic environment for all, including clean water and adequate sanitation facilities. Prisoners from the overcrowded Amsinene prison in NDjamena should be transferred to other adequate facilities in NDjamena taking into consideration the individual needs of the prisoners. Each prison should be provided with a clinic with basic medicines and medical emergency equipment such as gloves and laboratory kits, and at least one qualified medical doctor available to conduct regular clinic work. You need to put in place effective legislation for the implementation of the October 4, 2011 Ordinances on Prisons and make sure that all prison staff is informed about the ordinances. Finally, you need to harmonize the working relations between the Garde Nationale et Nomade du Tchad and the gendarmerie in charge of the prisons by issuing clear orders to all prison directors and the GNNT that clarify how they are to work together to improve prison management. Thank you for your attention to my sincere concerns in this matter, Amnesty Member
Appeals to

Your Excellency, I am writing to you about Amnesty Internationals recent research report concerning prison conditions in Chad. I was alarmed to hear that prison conditions in Chad are harsh, dilapidated and severely overcrowded, and that the basic human rights of prisoners are not protected. This is in direct violation of your countrys international human rights treaty and legal obligations. Amnesty International visited six prisons in 2011 and 2012 and observed that prisoners are victims of acts amounting to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment by prison staff or other inmates, including members of prison gangs who enjoy almost total impunity. Prisoners have very limited access to medical and health care; they lack food, drinkable water, adequate sanitary facilities, and other basic necessities such as bedding and clothes. There are no specific facilities for children detained in the same cells as adults. In some prisons there is no separation between women and men, putting prisoners at risk of gender-based sexual violence.

Idriss Deby Itno, President of Chad His Excellency Idriss Dby Itno President of Chad Prsidence de la Rpublique BP 74 NDjamena Rpublique du Tchad REPUBLIC OF CHAD Fax: 011 00235 251 45 01 Salutation: Your Excellency,
Copies to

Please also fax, email or mail a copy of your letter to Chads Ambassador to the United States at: His Excellency Matine Djoumbe Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Chad Embassy of the Republic of Chad 2401 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008 http://embassyofchad.info/index.php/en/ FAX: (202) 758-0431

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CHINA: Urgent Action - Chinese Woman Faces Imminent Execution, Death penalty, Imminent execution, Unfair trial
Li Yan (f)
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fered and evidence provided by witnesses, the court upheld the death sentence. Her last appeal to the Supreme Peoples Court in Beijing was dismissed.
Additional Information

months of domestic violence is at imminent risk of execution, after exhausting all her appeals. According to sources within China, Li Yan is currently held at Anyue County Detention center in Sichuan province, southwest China. Li Yan could be executed any day between now and Chinese New Year in early February. Li Yans ex-husband, Tan Yong, abused her emotionally and physically from their marriage in early 2009. He frequently beat her, stubbed cigarettes out on her face and during the freezing Sichuan winters locked her outside on the balcony of their apartment for several hours with little clothing. On one occasion, he cut off one of her fingers. Li Yan required hospital treatment for her injuries after one attack, and contacted the authorities several times including the police. However, they did not follow-up her complaints, initiate investigations or offer her any protection. In late 2010, Li Yan beat her husband to death with a gun. Li Yan was sentenced to death on August 24th, 2011 by the Ziyang City Intermediate Peoples Court for intentional homicide under article 232 of the Chinese Criminal Code. She appealed against the death sentence but the Sichuan Provincial Higher Peoples Court upheld the verdict on August 20th, 2012. Despite Li Yans testimonies about the abuse she suf-

A Chinese woman who killed her husband after suffering

Violence against women, including domestic violence, is a violation of human rights and is a form of discrimination under the UN Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women, to which China is a party. Under the Convention, China is obliged to exercise due diligence to prevent violence against women and to effectively investigate all allegations of such violence and prosecute the suspects in fair trials, whether they are state actors or private actors like Li Yans husband. China is also required to ensure reparations, including compensation to victims of violence like Li Yan (Committee on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women, General Recommendation 19, A/47/38 (1992)). In January 2007, the practice of having the Supreme Peoples Court (SPC) review all death sentences was restored. It had been suspended in 1982. All death sentences must now be reviewed by the SPC, which has the power to approve death sentences or remand cases for retrial. Amnesty International has serious concerns about the fairness of trials in death penalty cases. There are also significant gaps between the law, practice and international commitments made by China to uphold international fair trial standards. There is also limited access to legal counsel and the police often extract confessions through torture or other ill-treatment. The SPCs review process is not transparent and there are no clemency procedures for condemned prisoners after they have exhausted their appeals through the courts. Article 6(4) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which China has signed but not ratified, grants the right to anyone sentenced to death to seek pardon or commutation of the sentence. The death penalty is applicable to at least 55 offenses in China. Although the government eliminated 13 crimes punishable by death in 2011, it retains the death penalty for

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many non-violent crimes, including corruption and drugs related offenses. The Chinese authorities have reported a drop in executions since the SPC resumed this review but have declined to release relevant statistics which remain classified as a state secret. Legal academics and court officials in China have occasionally been quoted estimating the decrease at between 1015 per cent each year since 2007. As information on the application of the death penalty remains shrouded in secrecy in China, it is impossible to make a full and informed analysis of death penalty developments, or to verify if there has been such a reduction in its use. Amnesty International estimates that China executes thousands of people every year and certainly more than the rest of the world combined.

Beijingshi 100805 PEOPLES REPUBLIC OF CHINA Email: tgxx@npc.gov.cn (please send attachment only) Salutation: Dear Chairman
Copies to

HU Jintao Guojia Zhuxi The State Council General Office 2 Fuyoujie, Xichengqu Beijingshi 100017 PEOPLES REPUBLIC OF CHINA Fax: 011 86 10 63070900 Salutation: Dear President Ambassador Action Zhang Yesui Please write immediately in Chinese or your own language: Embassy of the Peoples Republic of China Urging the Chinese authorities not to implement Li Yans 3505 International Place NW, Washington, DC 20008 death sentence; Tel: 202 495-2266 Fax: 1 202 495-2138 Calling on them to ensure that Li Yan has access to her Email: chinaembpress_us@mfa.gov.cn family; Please check with your section office if sending appeals after Urging the National Peoples Congress to introduce a legal procedure for requesting clemency in line with Chinas obliga- the above date. tions under international human rights law; AIUSA Group 48 Contact Information Urging the Chinese authorities to take all allegations of domestic violence seriously, conduct effective investigations Indonesia Group Coordinator and, where there is sufficient admissible evidence, prosecute Max White Joanne Lau suspects in fair trials.
Appeals to
jlau@easystreet.net maxw33@comcast.net

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE MARCH 7th, 2013 TO: Supreme Peoples Court President WANG Shengjun Yuanzhang Zuigao Renmin Fayuan 27 Dongjiaomin Xiang Beijingshi 100745 PEOPLES REPUBLIC OF CHINA Fax: 011 86 10 65292345 Salutation: Dear President National Peoples Congress Standing Committee Chairman WU Bangguo Weiyuanzhang Quanguo Renda Changwu Weiyuanhui Bangongting 23 Xijiaominxiang, Xichengqu

Treasurer Tena Hoke tena.hoke@gmail.com Newsletter Editor Dan Webb write_to_dan@yahoo.com Concert Tabling Will Ware ww_ware@yahoo.com Legislative Coordinator Dan Johnson daniel.p.johnson@gmail.com

Central America Marylou Noble marylou_noble@ yahoo.com Darfur (Sudan) Marty Fromer martyfromer@gmail.com North Korea Erica Swiberg eswiberg@gmail.com

Prisoners Cases Jane Kristof Central Africa / OR State kristofj@pdx.edu Cornelia Cerf Death Penalty Abolition Ron Noble Terrie Rodello ronald0216@yahoo.com tarodello@igc.org

AIUSA group 48 Newsletter February 2013 Pg 9

MALI: Civilians At Risk From All Sides Of The Conflict


January 31, 2013
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Malian army arrested and extrajudicially executed more than two dozen civilians, mainly in the northern city of Svar. Eye witnesses in Svar described how they saw soldiers dump the bodies of several people into a well in the Walud neighbourhood. Once the bodies had been thrown and were in the well, [the soldiers] fired two or three bursts of machine gun fire into the well, one witness said. People spoke of how the Malian security forces apparently targeted people they suspected of ties to Islamist armed groups often on very tenuous grounds, such as the clothes they were wearing or their ethnic origin. "Many people are genuinely afraid of being arrested, or worse, by the military. The security forces must ensure that people are protected from any reprisals based on ethnicity or perceived political sympathy," said Mootoo.

The Malian army has committed serious human rights

breaches plus violations of international humanitarian law (IHL) during the ongoing conflict against armed groups in the country, including extrajudicial executions of civilians, according to evidence gathered by Amnesty International during a 10-day mission to the West African state.

The authorities should also immediately launch an indepenA new briefing based on the mission also outlines concerns that Islamist armed groups have committed of serious human dent and impartial investigation into any reports of extrajudicial executions by the armed forces, and suspend any security rights abuses and violations of IHL, including unlawful killpersonnel suspected of involvement in human rights violaings and the recruitment of child soldiers. tions. Additionally, there is evidence that at least five civilians, The Malian army has additionally carried out arbitrary arrests including three children, were killed in an airstrike carried of people suspected of ties to the militants. Amnesty Internaout as part of a joint operation by the French and the Malian tional spoke to several detainees who reported being beaten armies in order to stop the offensive of the Islamist armed or otherwise ill-treated while in detention. groups. Amnesty International documented reports of Islamist armed As fighting is continuing in Mali, all parties to the conflict groups carrying out extrajudicial executions. must ensure that they respect international humanitarian law Eye witnesses described how militants summarily killed five and in particular to ensure the humane treatment of captives injured Malian soldiers as well as one civilian in the town of while taking all necessary precautions to minimise harm to Diabaly on January 14th and 15th, following its capture by civilians, said Gatan Mootoo, Amnesty Internationals Mali militant groups. Researcher. Additionally, there is mounting evidence that Islamist miliDuring its visit, the Amnesty International delegation contants have been forcibly recruiting and using child soldiers in ducted research in the towns of Sgou, Svar, Niono, Konna their ranks. and Diabaly. In Diabaly, several people described how they had seen Amnesty International collected witness testimonies that on children, some as young as ten years old, armed with rifles 10 January 2013, on the eve of the French intervention, the together with Islamist fighters.

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In Sgou, Amnesty International was able to interview two captured child soldiers one of whom showed signs of mental illness. The boy was silent and downcast, and wasn't able to talk to us it was like his mind wasnt fully there, said Mootoo. The recruitment of child soldiers has to stop immediately, and any still in the ranks of the Islamist armed groups should be released. There is also disturbing evidence to indicate that five civilians including a mother and her three young children were killed in an air strike launched in the context of a counter offensive carried out by the French and Malian armies.

The strike occurred on the morning of January 11th, 2013, the first day of the French intervention, in the town of Konna. French officials have told Amnesty International that they did not carry out any attacks at that time in Konna, while a senior member of the Malian government and a Malian high ranking military official confirmed to the organization that a joint operation had begun targeting the town in the morning of January 11th with the participation of the French military. It is absolutely imperative that France and Mali launch investigations into who carried out this attack. Any findings have to be fully disclosed so it can be determined if there has been any breach of international law, said Mootoo.

Postage

AIUSA group 48 Newsletter February 2013