UN Condemns Dissolution of Associations in Mali as Infringement on Freedom of Expression

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Recently, Malian authorities have taken the controversial step of dissolving several associations, including the Observatory of Elections and Good Governance, Kaoural Renouveau, and the CMAS led by Imam Mahmoud Dicko.

In a statement released on March 13th, the United Nations Human Rights Office voiced deep concern over these actions, labeling them as a significant restriction on freedom of expression. The UN urged the government in Bamako to safeguard the civil space and allow dissolved organizations to resume their activities.

Ravina Shamdasani, spokesperson for the UN Human Rights Office, emphasized the gravity of the situation, stating, “We are deeply concerned because it appears to be part of a growing trend of human rights violations and restrictions on fundamental freedoms in Mali. The current climate in Mali reflects a serious threat to the rights of freedom of opinion, expression, association, and assembly.”

Shamdasani highlighted not only the dissolution of associations but also the legal proceedings against civil society figures critical of the transitional authorities. She emphasized that such actions run counter to international and regional legal obligations, stressing that civil society organizations should never face penalties for expressing criticism of authorities or their actions.

The UN underscores the importance of upholding freedom of expression and ensuring the protection of civil society voices in Mali. It warns against the misuse of laws and judicial systems to silence dissenting voices, emphasizing the critical role of civil society in fostering transparency, accountability, and democratic governance.


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