Political instability in Mali fueling human rights violations

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Civilians in Mali

Reports are emerging of grave human rights violations in the rebel held region of northern Mali.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay says civilians have been killed, robbed, raped and forced to flee.

Ms Pillay also says the risk of sectarian violence is increasing as a result of tension among different ethnic groups in the region.

She says the rebel groups in control of Northern Mali were behind some of the violations.

Militia groups roaming the region have also been accused of looting private and public property, including hospitals and health care facilities.

Ms Pillay is calling for national and international action to bring an end to the political instability in Mali, which she says has been fueling the violence and human rights abuses. Rupert Colville is the spokesperson for the UN Human Rights Office.

"There have been reports of women who are not veiled being threatened and intimidated, and reports that people who are not Muslims being targeted and killed by extremist religious groups and that’s also extremely worrying. There does seem some human rights violations took place in Bamako the capital, and these included arrests without proper warrants or legal processes, conditions of detention that were not good and also efforts to suppress the freedom of expression. We hope that there will quickly be a reestablishment of constitutional order in the country as a whole and then they will be able to deal with the north and also deal with the long term grievances that have fed the uprising in the north."

Duration:  40″

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