Mali Human Rights
General Country Conditions
The Republic of Mali is home to more than 12.7 million people. Malians face numerous challenges relating primarily to poverty. Mali ranks 178 out of 182 countries in the UN Human Development Index. The average life expectancy is less than 53 years, and the mortality rate for children under five is 198 per 1,000 live births. About one-quarter of the adult population is literate. Mali has been a constitutional democracy since 1991, and the reelection of President Amadou Toumani Toure in 2007 was judged to be primarily free and fair. However, armed conflict in the Kidal Region between government forces and rebels remains a threat to stability in the north. In addition, the terrorist group al-Qa'ida in the Maghreb continues to target civilians in Mali and neighboring countries.
Human Rights Concerns
The use of excessive force, torture and the legality of the death penalty are human rights concerns within Mali. Security forces used excessive force against people protesting over plans to privatize water in November 2009. Six protestors were injured, and one died as a result of his injuries. There have also been allegations of torture and ill-treatment of prisoners alleged to be linked to al-Qa'ida in the Maghreb. Prison conditions throughout Mali are poor and threaten the health of inmates and detainees. While Mali has stated that the country is committed to abolishing the death penalty by 2012, at least 15 people were sentenced to death in 2009. No executions were carried out.