Rights experts condemn the “dramatic rise” in attacks on so-called slaves in Mali |

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Although Mali outlawed slavery in 1905, the system of “slavery based on descent” still exists, with some people considered slaves because their ancestors were enslaved by the families of the so-called masters.

Attacks ‘unacceptable’

People born into slavery work without pay and are denied basic human rights and dignity, expertsة He said.

Those who reject the classification of “slave” and try to defend their rights, as well as anti-slavery organizations, are regularly attacked violently by traditional or religious leaders and their allies, sometimes including state authorities

Alioune Taine, the UN independent expert on the situation of human rights in Mali, said that systematic attacks against so-called slaves are “It is unacceptable and must be stopped immediately.”

Moreover, these assaults Contrasted with an inclusive society “We condemn them in the strongest terms,” ​​Tomoya Obokata, the United Nations added. Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery.

A ‘grave failure’ of protection

The experts were responding to a July 4 attack in which residents of the village of Makadogo in the eastern Kays region used machetes and rifles to prevent so-called slaves from working their fields.

And 12 people, including three women, who were not involved in the clash, were wounded by stray bullets inside their homes.

So far this year, 62 people – 57 men and five women – have been injured in violent clashes in the Kayes district, while 80 people have fled their homes. This year’s double – mostly so-called “descent-based slaves” – hit as it did in 2020.

“The massive increase in attacks this year shows the government’s gross failure to protect its people, particularly those who are already suffering the most from discrimination and violence,” they said.

Hold perpetrators accountable

Last September, UN experts issued a statement condemning similar “barbaric and criminal acts”, urging Mali to end slavery once and for all. They also called for a “rapid, transparent, impartial and thorough investigation” into the attacks in the Kayes region.

“It is deeply concerning that no one has been prosecuted in connection with last year’s attacks,” they said. “The government’s failure to hold pro-slavery perpetrators to account sends a shockingly worrying signal. Traditional and religious leaders who condone these violent attacks must be held accountable.”

The criminalization of slavery

UN experts renewed their call to Mali Adoption of a law specifically criminalizing slavery. They added that “changing attitudes” across society is just as important.

“It is indispensable to leave the legacy of kinship-based slavery and to recognize the right of all Malians to enjoy all the rights and freedoms set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

“For Mali to move forward, there must be recognition that all Malians – like everyone else on the planet – can expect and claim certain rights simply because they are human. There must be no discrimination on the basis of race, colour, sex, language or religion political or non-political opinion, national or social origin, property, or birth.”

The role of UN experts خبراء

Mr. Tain and Mr. Obokata have been appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Council It forms part of its independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues around the world.

They work on a voluntary basis and are not UN staff, and the organization does not pay them their salaries.

More to track …
Bulletin Observer Human Rights News

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