Security forces committed serious human rights violations including unlawful killings, torture, and unlawful arrests and detentions. Harassment and intimidation of journalists and lawyers as well as detention without trial of political opponents continued. Prison conditions were harsh and the rights of detainees were regularly violated.
A “road map” to resolve the ongoing political crisis was signed in the capital Antananarivo on 17 September by Malagasy political leaders under the mediation of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). A new Prime Minister was appointed in October and a Government of National Unity, including opposition members, was formed in November. Former President Didier Ratsiraka returned to Madagascar in November after nine years of exile in France but went back to Paris on 12 December. A new Transitional Parliament was proclaimed on 1 December.Top of page
Criminal suspects were killed by members of the security forces with almost total impunity.
Dozens of perceived or real opponents to the High Transitional Authority (Haute Autorité de la Transition, HAT) remained detained without trial, some since 2009.
Prison conditions were harsh and prisoners’ rights were ignored. Detainees did not have access to adequate health care, food or sanitation. According to a June report by the authorities, 19,870 people were detained in prisons with a maximum capacity of 10,319. They included 785 women and 444 minors. The report also stated that 10,517 of the detainees were under preventive detention.Top of page
According to official figures, 58 detainees were on death row, where some had remained for years while waiting for their cases to come before the Supreme Court.Top of page
The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) reported that children in Madagascar were adversely affected by poor nutrition, homelessness, loss of schooling, lack of basic health care and little or no access to water and sanitation. UNICEF stated that trafficking of children for domestic service and sexual exploitation continued. Such practices were carried out with impunity.Top of page
Arbitrary arrests and detention were common. In some cases, lawyers assisting or defending perceived or real opponents to the HAT were themselves subject to arrest and detention amounting to harassment and intimidation and denial of the right to legal counsel for their clients.
Privately owned media outlets and those believed to have links with the opposition were targeted by the HAT.