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23 March 2013
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Newsletter n° 22 GB

Fort-Dauphin: Why were members of
Fagnomba arrested?

Fagnomba is an association which, since
2010, is working for the fair compensation of people evicted from their lands
by Qit Minerals Madagascar (QMM), a subsidiary of Rio Tinto. QMM is mining for
ilmenite in Fort-Dauphin, in the region of Anosy in southeast Madagascar.

font-style:normal'>During the week of 11 March 2013, about fifteen members of
Fagnomba, including the Director Perle Zafinandro Fourquet, were arrested and
emprisoned. Their families confirm that they are still in jail.

font-style:normal'>What are the charges? Why are they in jail? Is it because
they have dared to stand up and demand a fair compensation for their lands?

font-style:normal'>We urgently demand an explanation from the regional and
national authorities as to why the members and leaders of Fagnomba were
arrested and call for their immediate release.

font-style:normal'>We implore the authorities to respect their fundamental
civic rights: the freedom to speak, to demonstrate, to defend themselves and to
be assisted.

font-style:normal'>Paris, 17 March 2013

font-style:normal'>Collective for the defense of Malagasy lands – Tany

font-style:normal'>===

<span
lang=EN-US style='font-size:14.0pt'>STATEMENT

text-align:center;line-height:normal'> 

text-align:center;line-height:normal'>(Unofficial
translation of a statement from FAGNOMBA association dated 18 March 2013 –
received on 19 March 2013)

text-align:center;line-height:normal'> 

text-align:center;line-height:normal'> 

<span
class=hps>Due to<span
lang=EN-US style='font-size:12.0pt'> current loc<span
class=hps>al realities, FAGNOMBA Association,
based in the Anosy region of Madagascar, <span
class=hps>makes the following statement.

<span
class=hps>Since the association was
founded,
<span
class=hps>FAGNOMBA
never stopped to
help,
advise and work <span
class=hps>with those who defend the interests of the
population and the
region.
This is also explicitly
mentioned in
the charter of the association.

<span
class=hps>1/ FAGNOMBA<span
lang=EN-US style='font-size:12.0pt'> never turned away <span
class=hps>those who requested our support, as our association is<span
class=hps> aware of the existence <span
class=hps>of injustice, denial of rights, and
authoritarism in our region.

normal'>
Fisherfolk,
<span
class=hps>people from
Maroamalona <span
class=hps>and Sakasazy, youth looking
for jobs in
the region, dismissed former Customs
employees and laid-off workers of Jovena
Mandena, inhabitants of Ampasy, <span
class=hps>Nahampoana Mandromondromotra, <span
class=hps>Sainte-Luce and Manantenina, not to mention
Ranomafana.

<span
class=hps>2/ We have fought<span
lang=EN-US style='font-size:12.0pt'> for the empowerment
of Civil Society in <span
class=hps>the region, so that organizations <span
class=hps>taking part in it can benefit from it. Still, a lot remains
to be done.

<span
class=hps>3/ Despite threats<span
lang=EN-US style='font-size:12.0pt'> and intimidation,
we have dared to face guns and <span
class=hps>tear gas to defend the public interest.

<span
class=hps>Today,<span
lang=EN-US style='font-size:12.0pt'> after acts of repression
and brutality carried out by the
Tolagnaro
police against FAGNOMBA,
after being falsely accused of
breaking into <span
class=hps>the offices of the CENI-T <span
class=hps>and of having been robbed of equipment such as a flat
computer screen, a printer and three hard drives
<span
class=hps>, of which one has been already found in
the premises of CENI-T

  • <span
    class=hps>We publicly declare
    that
    <span
    class=hps>FAGNOMBA
    is in no way <span
    class=hps>responsible for what happened <span
    class=hps>to the CENI-T. FAGNOMBA <span
    class=hps>sincerely wishes for the holding of elections
    in the territory of Madagascar
    <span
    class=hps>.
  • <span
    class=hps>We<span
    lang=EN-US style='font-size:12.0pt'> reiterate our
    condemnation of
    the humans rights violations
    and the disrespect for human
    dignity carried out by
    the police <span
    class=hps>group in Tolagnaro.

-18.0pt;line-height:normal'> 12.0pt;font-family:Wingdings'>Ø 
On<span
lang=EN-US style='font-size:12.0pt'> March 6, 2013 <span
class=hps>at 3 a.m. in Amborabao, Farafara Vatave,
a member of Fagnomba,
was arrested and beaten by
13 of the 29 deployed
policemen. This member is a female and s<span
class=hps>he is still in the hospital <span
class=hps>today. Even the arrest of <span
class=hps>Tokanono cannot be compared to what
she has suffered.

-18.0pt;line-height:normal'> 12.0pt;font-family:Wingdings'>Ø 
The
arrest
was <span
class=hps>followed by acts of violence
against FAGNOMBA
members who demonstrated on <span
class=hps>Thursday, March 14 at 11 am <span
class=hps>in front of the City Hall to <span
class=hps>demand the release of their <span
class=hps>imprisoned associates.

  • <span
    class=hps>We demand the
    release
    <span
    class=hps>of our
    imprisoned associates: it has
    been proven that they <span
    class=hps>are not guilty of what was<span
    class=hps> alleged, and that the charges to keep them <span
    class=hps>in prison were trumped up.
    <span lang=EN-US
    style='font-size:12.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif"'>
  • <span
    class=hps>We appeal<span
    lang=EN-US style='font-size:12.0pt'> to all <span
    class=hps>media in Tolagnaro, <span
    class=hps>because we know your wisdom but <span
    class=hps>also your fear: publish
    our statement, tell the truth
    to the Malagasy people.

<span
class=hps>Finally,<span
lang=EN-US style='font-size:12.0pt'> we encourage all <span
class=hps>imprisoned friends and fellow <span
class=hps>FAGNOMBA activists of Anosy Region. <span
class=hps>The struggle continues until the victory of
our solidarity (FIFAGNOBANTSIKA)<ins
cite="mailto:Mamy" datetime="2013-03-20T12:50">.

<span
class=hps> 

<span
lang=EN-US style='font-size:12.0pt'> 
Tolagnaro, 18 datetime="2013-03-20T12:50">March 2013

 The
Vice-President