Mali Human Rights

General Country Conditions

The Republic of Mali is home to more than 15 million people. Malians face numerous challenges relating to poverty and insecurity. Mali ranks 176 out of 187 countries in the UN Human Development Index. The average life expectancy is less than 57 years, and the mortality rate for children under five is 123 per 1,000 live births.


Mali experienced a coup and armed conflict in 2012. Civilian control of the government was restored and elections were held in 2013. In 2013, a peace agreement was also signed between the Malian government and several armed groups in Burkina Faso. However, the north of the country remains unstable, with parts of it beyond the control of the Malian authorities. Furthermore, violent clashes and attacks on civilians continue.


Human Rights Concerns

Abuses by armed groups, impunity, and the death penalty are some of the numerous human rights concerns in Mali. Security forces and non-state armed groups have engaged in the excessive use of force. Journalists, UN peacekeepers, International Committee of the Red Cross workers, and civilians have been killed in attacks. During a protest in 2015, UN police officers used excessive force against protesters, killing three people.


There have also been allegations of torture and ill-treatment of prisoners alleged to have connections to the armed conflict. At least two such detainees died in custody in Bamako during 2014 due to lack of medical care. Prison conditions throughout Mali are poor and threaten the health of inmates and detainees.


The government has begun to tackle the issue of impunity and made some progress, notably in the case of the enforced disappearance of more than 20 soldiers in April 2012. A total of 28 people were arrested and charged in 2014, including General Amadou Sanogo, leader of the military junta that ruled Mali for part of 2012, and General Ibrahim Dahirou Dembélé, former Chief of Staff. Few prosecutions were brought in connection with other cases of enforced disappearances and there were long delays in bringing to justice those responsible for committing human rights violations in the context of the conflict. Some cases, notably the disappearance of 11 men in Timbuktu in February 2013, were yet to be investigated.


No executions had been carried out in Mali for several decades, but death sentences continue to be imposed.

Mali Newsroom

February 18, 2016 • Report

Amnesty International State of the World 2015-2016

International protection of human rights is in danger of unravelling as short-term national self-interest and draconian security crackdowns have led to a wholesale assault on basic freedoms and rights, warned Amnesty International as it launched its annual assessment of human rights around the world. “Your rights are in jeopardy: they are being treated with utter contempt by many governments around the world,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

February 25, 2015 • Report

State of the World 2014/2015

This has been a devastating year for those seeking to stand up for human rights and for those caught up in the suffering of war zones. Governments pay lip service to the importance of protecting civilians. And yet the world's politicians have miserably failed to protect those in greatest need. Amnesty International believes that this can and must finally change.

May 21, 2013 • Report

Annual Report: Mali 2013

REPUBLIC OF MALI Interim head of state Diouncounda Traoré (replaced Amadou Toumani Touré) Interim head of government Django Cissoko (replaced Cissé Mariam Kaïdama Sidibé) The armed conflict in the north …

February 1, 2013 • Report

Mali: First Assessment of the Human Rights Situation After Three-Week Conflict

Evidence documented by Amnesty International researchers shows serious human rights abuses by the Malian army, including extrajudicial executions.

July 30, 2012 • Report

Mali: “We Haven’t Seen Our Cellmates Since”

Amnesty report on Mali looks at enforced disappearances and torture of soliders and police officers opposed to the junta.

March 19, 2011 • Report

Annual Report: Mali 2010

Head of state Amadou Toumani Touré Head of government Modibo Sidibé Death penalty abolitionist in practice Population 13 million Life expectancy 48.1 years Under-5 mortality (m/f) 193/188 per 1,000 Adult …

February 1, 2021 • Press Release

Fresh Evidence of Police Misuse of Tear Gas Leading to Protesters’ Deaths and Injuries – Updated Investigative Website

Amnesty International today published new evidence of the misuse of tear gas by security forces in several countries in the second half of 2020, including during protests around the election in Uganda, the Black Lives Matter movement in the USA, and in the repression of protesters in Lebanon.

April 7, 2020 • Press Release

Armed conflicts and state repression in Africa fuel cocktail of human rights violations

HUMAN RIGHTS IN AFRICA: Protesters across sub-Saharan Africa have braved bullets and beatings to defend their rights in the face of continuing conflict and state repression, Amnesty International said today …

January 13, 2020 • Press Release

Delays in ‘Red Berets’ Trial Prolongs Suffering of Victims’ Families in Mali

A Malian court’s last-minute postponement of a former junta leader’s trial is a blow to the families of 21 soldiers whose bodies were discovered in a mass grave in 2012 after they were forcibly disappeared, Amnesty International said today.

June 10, 2019 • Press Release

Despicable killings of civilians in Mali must be investigated

Following the reported unlawful killings of nearly 100 people in an attack on a village in central Mali, Marie-Evelyne Petrus Barry, Amnesty International’s West and Central Africa director said: “This …