FIDH and AMDH vehemently condemn the release of Ag Alfousseyni Houka Houka, former Tombouctou Islamist judge, indicted for his alleged role in serious human rights violations, and against whom the investigations revealed reliable and consistent evidence. Though the peace talks between the Mali government and the armed forces must resume on 1st September 2014 in Alger, our organisations recall that no just and lasting peace will be found without a true fight against impunity of all authors of serious human rights violations committed during the Mali crisis.
On 15 August 2014, Ag Alfousseyni Houka Houka was released by the Malian authorities in the course of political negotiations ongoing between the Malian government and the armed forces, which led to the signing of a road map with the goal of “the establishment of a framework for peace negotiations to enable the finding of a global and negotiated solution” in Mali. “This political release is a true attack against the independence of the judiciary and a flagrant breach to victims’ rights to justice and to the truth” declared Mr Moctar Mariko, president of AMDH. “It is absolutely necessary that the initiated political negotiations continue but nor to the detriment of justice nor leaving the victims in oblivion” he added.
On 17 January 2014, Ag Alfousseyni Houka Houka was arrested by the armed forces of Mali (FAMA) in the Tombouctou region for his alleged role in serious human rights violations. This important figure of the Tombouctou Islamist movement was leading an Islamist tribunal who ordered, amongst others, amputations, stonings, floggings and arbitrary arrests during the ten months Northern Mali was under control by Islamist armed groups. In order to accompany the victims in their quest for truth and justice, 20 June 2014, AMDH and FIDH constituted themselves as civil parties to the Court of First Instance of Commune III against Ag Alfousseyni Houka Houka.
On 15 July 2014, the Malian government had already proceeded to the release and the exchange of 42 elements of armed forces alleged authors of serious human rights violations and indicted by the Malian judiciary, against 45 elements of the armed and security forces captured by the armed groups during the 23 May 2014 fights in Kidal. This exchange of prisoners occurred as the first hearings of victims of serious human rights violations during the conflict in Northern Mali in 2012 were taking place, constituted civil parties and accompanied by FIDH and AMDH in the judicial proceedings opened by the national judiciary.
FIDH and AMDH repeat their appeal to the Malian authorities to make the fight against impunity a priority, to do everything to ensure that the authors of serious human rights violations are prosecuted and brought to justice, and also to guarantee the rights of victims to justice, to truth and reparation.
“No nation, no people who have suffered from serious crimes against humanity can claim lasting reconciliation, peace and development without a healthy, fair judiciary system effectively combatting impunity” declared Mr. Patrick Baudouin, honorary president and responsible of the FIDH judiciary action group.
The FIDH and AMDH, in collaboration with other organisations promoting human rights in Mali, are preparing to submit to the Malian authorities a Memorandum in support of a peace agreement, respectful of the victims’ rights to justice.