Annual Report: Madagascar 2011

May 28, 2011

Annual Report: Madagascar 2011

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  • On 6 October, officials from the Ministry of Communication closed down the Fototra radio station owned by Saraha Georget Rabeharisoa, leader of the Green Party, who had recently announced that she was a presidential candidate.
  • Ten employees of Radio Fahazavàna, owned by the reformed Protestant church of Madagascar (FJKM), were arrested and detained in May and the radio station was closed down by the Ministry of Communication. They were conditionally released in September but the radio station remained closed at the end of the year.

Unfair trials

The trial of those accused of unlawful killings at Ambohitsorohitra presidential palace on 7 February 2009 started in June. At least 19 people were sentenced to various prison terms. The trial did not meet international standards of fairness. The right to defence, the right to challenge the lawfulness of detention, the right to a fair hearing and the right to defend oneself in person or through a lawyer were denied to some of the defendants.

  • On 28 August, an Antananarivo court condemned former president Marc Ravalomanana and eight other people to lifelong hard labour for their alleged involvement in the unlawful killings on 7 February 2009 in Antananarivo. An arrest warrant was issued against Marc Ravalomanana who was sentenced in his absence. The trial was criticized by members of the Malagasy Bar Association.