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Newsletter n° 22 GB

publié by Admin, le Saturday 23 March 2013

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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.

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.

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?

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.

We implore the authorities to respect their fundamental civic rights: the freedom to speak, to demonstrate, to defend themselves and to be assisted.

Paris, 17 March 2013

Collective for the defense of Malagasy lands – Tany

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STATEMENT

 

(Unofficial translation of a statement from FAGNOMBA association dated 18 March 2013 – received on 19 March 2013)

 

 

Due to current local realities, FAGNOMBA Association, based in the Anosy region of Madagascar, makes the following statement.

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

1/ FAGNOMBA never turned away those who requested our support, as our association is aware of the existence of injustice, denial of rights, and authoritarism in our region.

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

2/ We have fought for the empowerment of Civil Society in the region, so that organizations taking part in it can benefit from it.  Still, a lot remains to be done.

3/ Despite threats and intimidation, we have dared to face guns and tear gas to defend the public interest.

Today, after acts of repression and brutality carried out by the Tolagnaro police against FAGNOMBA, after being falsely accused of breaking into the offices of the CENI-T and of having been robbed of equipment such as a flat computer screen, a printer and three hard drives, of which one has been already found in the premises of CENI-T

  • We publicly declare that FAGNOMBA is in no way responsible for what happened to the CENI-T. FAGNOMBA sincerely wishes for the holding of elections in the territory of Madagascar.
  • We reiterate our condemnation of the humans rights violations and the disrespect for human dignity carried out by the police group in Tolagnaro.

Ø  On March 6, 2013 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 she is still in the hospital today. Even the arrest of Tokanono cannot be compared to what she has suffered.

Ø  The arrest was followed by acts of violence against FAGNOMBA members who demonstrated on Thursday, March 14 at 11 am in front of the City Hall to demand the release of their imprisoned associates.

  • We demand the release of our imprisoned associates: it has been proven that they are not guilty of what was alleged, and that the charges to keep them in prison were trumped up.
  • We appeal to all media in Tolagnaro, because we know your wisdom but also your fear: publish our statement, tell the truth to the Malagasy people.

Finally, we encourage all imprisoned friends and fellow FAGNOMBA activists of Anosy Region. The struggle continues until the victory of our solidarity (FIFAGNOBANTSIKA).

 

  Tolagnaro, 18 March 2013

The Vice-President


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