Use of Amputation as Punishment in Northern Mali is Reason for Concern

Press Release
August 10, 2012

Use of Amputation as Punishment in Northern Mali is Reason for Concern

Contact: Suzanne Trimel, strimel@aiusa.org, 212-633-4150, @strimel

(New York) -- Following reports that Islamists in northern Mali conducted an amputation as punishment, Amnesty International issued the following comments condemning this act of violence:

"Amnesty international condemns the punitive amputations which have reportedly been carried out by the Unity Movement for Jihad in West Africa on Wednesday in Ansongo, a town in the North of Mali," said Paule Rigaud, deputy director for Africa, in London.

This is the second example of a horrific punishment without any legal oversight, amounting to clear human rights abuses and another example of civilians being targeted by armed groups in the North of Mali.

Punishments, such as amputation, are absolutely prohibited in international law, irrespective of the offenses committed.

Amnesty International calls on all armed groups to comply with the fundamental principles of humanity reflected in Common Article 3 of the Geneva conventions, which armed groups are obliged to respect, which prohibit violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture.”

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.