from RUDD KONTE in Bamako, Mali
BAMAKO, (CAJ News) – SOME detainees have been amputated and others left with serious injuries following alleged torture by the military during counter terrorism operations in Mali.
At least four detainees have reportedly lost limbs to amputations, while dozens of others suffered injuries, severe pain and temporary loss of mobility.
Human rights groups allege soldiers bound detainees’ hands, elbows, or feet with rope, plastic cord or headscarves resulting in severely restricting blood circulation and often cutting through flesh.
The most recent abuses documented occurred during eight government counter-terrorism operations in the central Mopti region between February 2018 and June 2019.
“The brutal techniques for restraining detainees used by some Malian soldiers is cruel, painful and has caused permanent disability,” lamented Corinne Dufka, regional director at Human Rights Watch (HRW).
The activist appealed to the army to end unlawful and inhumane practices and treat detainees according to international standards.
In response to concerns by the human rights groups, the government of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita assured it was addressing the issue of torture through training and prosecutions.
Government disclosed that to date, some 20 soldiers had been charged with murder, torture and kidnapping.
Mali has been conflict hit since a rebellion by Islamist groups north of the country in 2012.
It escalated into the central parts of the country where agriculturalist and pastoral communities fought over land resources.
– CAJ News