A political crisis sparked widespread human rights violations. Security forces used excessive force against demonstrators, killing dozens of people and injuring hundreds. Members of the opposition were arbitrarily arrested and detained. Freedom of peaceful assembly and expression was denied. The right to a fair trial was not respected. Impunity for human rights violations reigned.
Media outlets and journalists were targeted by officials before and after the HAT come to power. Journalists received threats via their mobile phones and some went into hiding. In January, the Ravalomanana government closed down Radio Viva; it had already closed Tele Viva on 13 December 2008. Both are owned by Andry Rajoelina. The HAT closed down private television station Tele Mada and Radio Mada, both owned by former President Ravalomanana in March, followed by other pro-Ravalomanana media outlets.
On 3 June, an Antananarivo criminal court sentenced in their absence former President Ravalomanana and his Minister of Finance, Haja Nirina Razafinjatovo, to four years in prison and a fine of US$70 million for compensation for alleged abuse of office. The trial was not made public and the defendants could not challenge the accusations.