Annual Report: Madagascar 2013

May 23, 2013

Annual Report: Madagascar 2013

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  • A complaint into the death of prosecutor Michel Rahavana remained under investigation a year later. He was killed in December 2011 by a group of police officers attempting to release a colleague who had been arrested by the prosecutor in connection with a theft. The minister in charge of the police, the Minister of Internal Security, who was in the town at the time of the death, was allegedly informed that the attack was about to happen but failed to prevent it. The Minister of Justice announced at the end of 2011 that an investigation would be conducted.
  • No official investigation was opened into the killing of taxi driver Hajaharimananirainy Zenon, known as Bota, despite assurances from the Minister of Justice. Bota's family lodged a formal complaint on 30 August 2011 following his arrest, torture and killing by members of the Intervention Police Force (FIP) on 17 July 2011 in the 67ha neighbourhood of Antananarivo.

Freedom of expression – journalists

Several media outlets, including Radio Fahazavana, remained closed. At least five other radio stations were closed in February. The authorities continued to use the judiciary to intimidate and harass journalists.

  • On 13 November, Radio Free FM journalists Lalatiana Rakotondrazafy and Fidèle Razara Pierre each received a three months' suspended sentence and a fine of ariary 1 million (around US$500) by an Antananarivo tribunal. The two had been released on
  • 3 May after being detained for 24 hours. In June, the authorities prevented them from leaving the country. They were convicted of defamation and spreading false news after a complaint by Ravatomanga Mamy, a businessman and official adviser to the President. Fearing for their safety, the two journalists, along with a technician from the radio station, had previously spent more than two months in the compound of the South African embassy in Antananarivo from 1 August.
  • On 8 and 9 November, four newspaper journalists – Zo Rakotoseheno, director of Midi Madagasikara; Rocco Rasoanaivo, director of La Nation and president of the journalists' trade union, Syndicat des journalistes malgaches; and Fidy Robson and Herivonjy Rajaonah, director and chief editor respectively of Gazetiko – appeared before the gendarmerie in Betongolo, Antananarivo. Ravatomanga Mamy, a businessman and official adviser to the President, had lodged a complaint against the journalists after the newspapers published extracts of a statement by a local chief accusing the businessman of links to trafficking in rosewood. The journalists were sent to the prosecutor's office on 12 November. They were not detained but their case was still under investigation at the end of the year.

Amnesty International visits/reports

  • An Amnesty International delegate visited Madagascar in November.
  • Madagascar must end mass killings and investigate security forces (PRE01/570/212)