IPU Logo-middleInter-Parliamentary Union  
IPU Logo-bottomChemin du Pommier 5, C.P. 330, CH-1218 Le Grand-Saconnex/Geneva, Switzerland  


Resolution adopted unanimously by the IPU Governing Council at its 188th session
(Panama, 20 April 2011)

The Governing Council of the Inter-Parliamentary Union,

Referring to the case of Mr. Lantoniaina Rabenatoandro, Mr. Henri Randrianjatovo, Mr. Mamisoa Rakotomandimbindraibe, Mr. Raymond Rakotozandry, Mr. Randrianatoandro Raharinaivo, Ms. Eliane Naïka, Mr. Mamy Rakotoarivelo, Mr. Jacques Arinosy Razafimbelo, Mr. Yves Aimé Rakotoarison and Mr. Fidison Mananjara, all members of the Parliament of Madagascar when it was suspended in March 2009, as outlined in the report of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians (CL/188/13(b)-R.1), and to the resolution adopted at its 187th session (October 2010),

Having before it the cases of Mr. Stanislas Zafilahy and Mr. Rakotonirina Harijaona Lovanantenaina, both members of the Parliament suspended in March 2009, which have been the subject of a study and report of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians following the Procedure for the treatment by the Inter-Parliamentary Union of communications concerning violations of the human rights of members of parliament,

Recalling that following the coup d’état carried out by Mr. Andry Rajoelina with the backing of the army in March 2009, Parliament was dissolved after a High Transitional Authority (HAT), presided over by himself, was established; that Mr. Lantoniaina Rabenatoandro, Mr. Henri Randrianjatovo, Mr. Mamisoa Rakotomandimbindraibe, Mr. Raymond Rakotozandry, Mr. Randrianatoandro Raharinaivo, Ms. Eliane Naïka, Mr. Mamy Rakotoarivelo, Mr. Jacques Arinosy Razafimbelo, Mr. Yves Aimé Rakotoarison and Mr. Fidison Mananjara, all parliamentarians belonging to the movement of the deposed President, Mr. Ravalomanana, were opposed to the new regime and judicial proceedings were brought against them on public order-related charges; that some of them were sentenced at first instance, others were detained and one of the parliamentarians in question, Ms. Eliane Naïka, was seriously manhandled by the security forces and is at present abroad,

Taking into account the information provided by the Permanent Representative of Madagascar to the United Nations Office at Geneva during a meeting between himself and the IPU Secretary General on 21 October 2010, according to which these persons were free and all proceedings against them had been dropped; he also stated that the majority of parliamentarians concerned had been included in the Transitional Parliament set up on 11 October 2010, with Mr. Raharinaivo even elected Speaker,

Considering the following new information provided by the source regarding three individual former members of parliament:

  • On 15 March 2011, Mr. Mamy Rakotoarivelo was allegedly arrested in Antananarivo on accusations of instigating the bomb attack of 3 March 2011 on the vehicle of Mr. Rajoelina; the source affirms that the accusations are baseless and rely on the statements that were obtained under torture, with the use of electric shocks, from two other suspects, namely Mr. Alphonse Rafarahalitsimba and Mr. Misa Arifetra Rakotoarivelo, who were arrested on 12 March 2011. Mr. Rakotoarivelo was conditionally released in early April 2011; the other two suspects remain in detention; the source affirms that the proceedings were brought against Mr. Rakotoarivelo solely because he refused to join the new Government and that the authorities threatened to have him sentenced to death;

  • Mr. Rakotonirina Harijaona Lovanantenaina was allegedly arbitrarily arrested, along with four others, on 22 February 2011; he is reportedly accused of endangering state security by encouraging a group of amateur journalists to set up and run an illegal radio station called "Radio-n'ny Gasy"; the source affirms that this radio station was established in response to the closure by the authorities of some 90 private radio stations in 2010 and the detention of all journalists critical of the authorities; Mr. Lovanantenaina has requested his conditional release, which has been refused; according to the source, this rejection stems from Mr. Lovanantenaina's own refusal to switch sides and join the Government;

  • Mr. Stanislas Zafilahy, heads the parliamentary group of the Ravalomanana movement, and was arrested along with two other political leaders in Antananarivo on 11 November 2010; according to the source, when they were held at Vatomandry remand prison, Mr. Zafilahy and his two colleagues were apparently denied any visits and any outside contact, without any justification being offered; according to the source, the political movements they lead were given permission to stage a demonstration against the constitutional referendum of 17 November 2010; the source states that the authorities apparently prevented the holding of the demonstration and that this gave rise to scuffles; according to the source, a band of rioters was behind those clashes and it was therefore a scheme set up against the persons concerned; the source affirms that Mr. Zafilahy was subsequently accused of taking part in an unauthorized gathering, of refusing to obey an order to disperse, and of destroying private property; on 9 February 2011, the Tribunal at first instance of Antananarivo found Mr. Zafilahy guilty and sentenced him to a 10-month suspended prison term; his lawyers have appealed the sentence; the source believed that there would be nothing to prevent Mr. Zafilahy from standing in the next parliamentary elections in Madagascar,
Considering that a transitional political process is under way in Madagascar and that the following steps were recently taken for this purpose:
  • A national Conference, held from 13 to 18 September 2010, to discuss the various problems linked to the crisis, which the main opposition parties refused to attend, and the adoption of a road map setting out a timetable for a return to constitutional order, notably the establishment of a Higher Transitional Council (Upper House) and a Transitional Congress, and timelines for the holding of legislative elections;

  • The adoption of a new Constitution by referendum on 17 November 2010;

  • The adoption by political parties and stakeholders on 8 March 2011 of an agreement to advance the transitional process by putting in place a transitional government of national unity and nominating a prime minister entrusted with preparing free and fair elections; its Section III "that the President, Government and all other transitional institutions must commit themselves to taking measures to promote confidence by ending the legal proceedings under way against members of the opposition which could be interpreted as based on political considerations"; the same section also provides for an amnesty in relation to the political events which took place between 2002 and 2009 with the exception of crimes against humanity, war crimes, genocide and other serious human rights violations; the section states that those who were directly harmed as a result of the political events that took place between 2002 and 8 March 2011 are entitled to reparation and/or compensation by the State,
  1. Is deeply concerned at the arrest, detention and legal proceedings brought against three former members of parliament, which, at this critical time in Madagascar's political history, can only lend credence to the allegation that such steps form part of an attempt by the authorities to bring criminal legal action out of political considerations, a concern the existence of which all parties to the latest political agreement openly acknowledged;

  2. Is particularly concerned at the allegation that two persons were tortured into implicating Mr. Rakotoarivelo; stresses that the authorities have a duty to investigate any serious allegation of torture and, should it prove correct, to hold the culprits to account and pay reparation to the victims; stresses that any statement against Mr. Rakotoarivelo made under torture deprives it of any legal validity in court; urges the authorities therefore, as is their duty, to investigate the matter diligently and without delay and to take such steps as the conclusions of the investigation may warrant;

  3. Wishes to ascertain the exact charges laid against Mr. Rakotoarivelo and Mr. Lovanantenaina, and the facts adduced to substantiate them, and to receive a copy of the relevant indictments, if any; also wishes to receive a copy of the judgement against Mr. Zafilahy and to be informed of the appeal proceedings;

  4. Recalls that it is a well-established principle that a person must be released pending trial unless the State can show that there are relevant and sufficient grounds for continued detention; wishes to ascertain what, if any, justification exists to keep Mr. Lovanantenaina in detention;

  5. Points out that the latest political agreement acknowledges that the transitional process and return to constitutional order in Madagascar can only be successful if it gives all those wishing to take part in it an opportunity to express themselves freely without fear of reprisals; can but consider in this respect that the legal steps taken against three members of the opposition cast doubt on the commitment of the authorities to complying with the agreement where it suggests an end to proceedings that can be interpreted as politically motivated, and urges them to implement the agreement faithfully in this respect; considers furthermore that the agreement compels the authorities to take decisive action with respect to the brutal force used in Ms. Naika's arrest, inter alia by providing her with reparation; and urges the authorities to act accordingly;

  6. Considers that, with respect to the group of parliamentarians who are reportedly free and no longer charged, so long as they have not been officially notified of the dismissal of the charges there is the threat of renewed proceedings; believes that it is particularly important in the present context of Madagascar to ensure that such written confirmation is provided to those concerned; invites the transitional authorities, therefore, to do so without delay in order to ensure that the individuals can participate fully and with complete peace of mind in the forthcoming legislative elections and the political process under way; wishes to be kept informed of any measures the Malagasy authorities intend to take to this end;

  7. Requests the Secretary General to convey this resolution to the parliamentary authorities and to the sources;

  8. Requests the Committee to continue examining this case and report to it at its next session, to be held on the occasion of the 125th IPU Assembly (October 2011).
Note: you can download a complete electronic version of the brochure "Results of the 124th IPU Assembly and related meetings" in PDF format (file size 672 Kb approximately). This version requires Adobe Acrobat Reader, which you can download free of charge.Get Acrobat Reader