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Amnesty International calls for release of those arrested during Mali coup

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HUMAN Rights Group, Amnesty International has called for the immediate release of former Mali President, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, his Prime Minister, Boubou Cissé and others arrested during the coup that ousted the Keita government on Tuesday.

A group of mutiny soldiers had arrested Keita, Cisse along with several top officials after troops surrounded his residence in the evening and fired shots into the air before taking him into custody.

The mutiny which started near a military base in Bamako and headed into the city led to Keita resigning and dissolving the parliament.

Samira Daoud, Amnesty International’s West and Central Africa Director in a statement said  it was closely monitoring the situation in Mali.

Daoud said Amnesty International warned the military authorities to respect and defend human rights and international human rights law and to account for all the individuals arrested during the coup.

“Following yesterday’s military coup in Mali, in which soldiers from the National Committee for the People’s Salvation (CNSP in French) stormed the home of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and arrested him along with several other officials,” she said.

“We are concerned by the military junta’s detention of several government officials, including President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and Prime Minister Boubou Cissé. All those arrested during the coup must be immediately released or charged with a recognizable criminal offence. We call on coup leaders to guarantee that the rights of all the population including the detainees are protected, including by granting them access to lawyers of their own choice, to their family and clarifying on which legal basis they have been detained.

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“We have also documented the deaths of four people yesterday evening and injuries to 15 others. All the victims were hit by bullets in unclear circumstances and were dispatched to the Gabriel Touré hospital in the capital Bamako.”

“We call on the CNSP to investigate the conditions in which these deaths and injuries occurred and, where there is evidence of crimes and other human rights violations, to ensure that those responsible are held accountable through fair trials.

Meanwhile, Colonel Assimi Goita has announced himself as the leader of the coup.

He had said after meeting top civil servants surrounded by armed military men that he is the chairman of the National Committee for the salvation of the People coup leader who overthrew President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.

Olayinka works with The ICIR as the Social Media Manager, Reporter and Fact-checker. You can shoot him an email via [email protected] You can as well follow him on Twitter via @ShehuOlayinka1

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