Urgent Action: WHISTLEBLOWER FACES 5-YEAR IMPRISONMENT (Madagascar: UA 111.21)

November 11, 2021

Ravo Ramasomanana, a former employee of the Ministry of Public Health, is facing imprisonment of up to 5 years for threatening public order and security and inciting political unrest and hate after posting a video on social media in April 2021 implicating the Ministry of Public Health in corruption allegations. He has disclosed information of public interest. Such disclosures are protected under the rights to information and freedom of expression. The authorities must immediately drop all charges against Ravo Ramasomanana and ensure he is able to freely exercise his right to freedom of expression without any reprisals.

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TAKE ACTION:

  1. Please take action as-soon-as possible. This Urgent Action expires on January 6, 2022
  2. Write a letter in your own words or using the sample below as a guide to one or both government officials listed. You can also email, fax, call or Tweet them.
  3. Click here to let us know the actions you took on Urgent Action 111.21. It’s important to report because we share the total number with the officials we are trying to persuade and the people we are trying to help.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Minister of Justice
Herilaza Imbiki
43 Rue Joel Rakotomolala
Faravohitra – Antananarivo, Madagascar
Email: [email protected] ; [email protected]
H.E. Ambassador Jocelyn Radifera
Embassy of Madagascar
2374 Massachusetts Av NW, Washington, DC 20008,
Phone: 202 265 5525
Email: [email protected]
Contact form: https://www.us-madagascar-embassy.org/contact
Facebook: @MadagascarEmbassyintheUSA
Twitter: @MadagascarembDC

SAMPLE LETTER

Your Excellency,

I am writing to bring to your attention the case of whistleblower Ravo Ramasomanana, a former employee of the Ministry of Public Health. Ravo Ramasomanana faces imprisonment simply for exercising his right to freedom of expression following his bringing to light alleged financial irregularities he witnessed during his time at the Ministry of Public Health.

On April 15, 2021, Ravo Ramasomanana posted what became a widely circulated video on social media revealing information pertaining to alleged rigged tenders, fictitious jobs, contracts by mutual agreement not authorized by law, forgery, use of forgeries during the awarding of procurement contracts, and the embezzlement of MGA44 billion (about USD 11.7 million) within the Ministry of Public Health. He was charged with threatening public order and security and inciting political unrest and hate under articles 89, 90 and 91 of Law 84-001 from June 12, 1984. The use of these articles is abusive and should not be used as a repressive tool to silence critical voices. The Criminal Court of Antananarivo initially scheduled the trial for September 27, 2021. However, the Public Prosecutor did not file the charges and the Court adjourned it to November 15, 2021.

I am extremely concerned that instead of promptly, thoroughly, effectively and transparently investigating the allegations and protecting Ravo Ramasomanana, the authorities are prosecuting him. He faces imprisonment of up to five years if convicted, simply for exercising his human rights and speaking out against corruption allegations.

I therefore urge you to respect Ravo Ramasomanana’s right to freedom of expression and the people of Madagascar’s right to information by ensuring the prosecution authorities immediately drop all charges against him. I also urge you to protect whistleblowers, ensuring they are not subject to reprisals for speaking out, and promptly, thoroughly, effectively and transparently investigate Ravo Ramasomanana’s claims of wrongdoing within the Ministry of Public Health. The authorities must make public the outcome of any investigation and ensure that those suspected to be involved in the corruption allegations are brought to justice in fair trials.

Sincerely,

[YOUR NAME]

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES