Dear Chairperson,

The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom would like to take this opportunity to raise our concerns with the progress of the objective of the Universal Periodic Review 2010 to improve the human rights situation.

We question, what effect the UPR process of Madagascar has had on improving the situation of human rights on the ground and minimising the risk for the people of Madagascar. In spite of the UPRs strong recommendations to address serious documented violations, we are concerned at the Government of Madagascar’s absence of response to the recommendation to release all political prisoners, as well as their refusal to open a credible and independent process for investigating the deaths and the events surrounding the March 2009 military coup.

Within the Universal Periodic Review we are concerned at the lack of attention and recognition paid to the events of the 26 January and 7 February 2009, when, according to reports, up to 130 people died as a result of serous unrest and conflict. We call for the international community to recommend an independent, impartial separate investigation into these events.

The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom are deeply concerned at the testimonies of human rights abuses by such victims of torture as Naika Eliane, Ihanta Andramandranto, Noro Rabemanajara and Razafinjoany Sandra. These cases have been widely documented including by Amnesty International.

Since the UPR in February, reports show there have been no changes to the human rights situation in Madagascar. Violence and arrests continue but under different guises and rationales. We have received reports of the imprisonment (of men, women and children), restrictions of freedom of expression, forced oppression of the media and political opposition, ill treatment of prisoners including torture, abuse of force by police and other security forces, forced exile and executions. This includes the recent arrest of journalist Josiane Ranaivo.

We are deeply concerned at Madagascar’s failure to comply with international conventions, such as the Convention Against Torture and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, their violation of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights and their failure to recognize the Rome Statute and to implement the Maputo Agreement.

We ask the international community, to ensure that the Universal Periodic review process, in the case of Madagascar and in all cases, be an effective mechanism for implementation of human rights in countries under review.

Thank you Mr President