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[Published: Monday June 01 2009]

Millions of africans deprived of basic needs, Amnesty


London, 28 May. – (ANA) - As in many countries across Africa, Guinea’s population was hit hard by rising food and commodity prices during the year, said Amnesty International Annual report published in London.

Demonstrations erupted and the authorities believed that Karamba Dramé was one of

the organizers of the protests. So they killed him. The food crisis, which marked 2008 in Africa, had a disproportionate impact on vulnerable population groups, especially those already living in poverty. Across the Africa region, people demonstrated against the

desperate social and economic situation and the sharp rise in living costs. While some demonstrations turned violent, leading to the destruction of private and public property, the authorities often repressed protests using excessive force. Security forces injured and killed numerous people who were claiming their right to an adequate standard of living,

including the right to food. Protesters were arbitrarily arrested and detained. Some were ill-treated in detention or sentenced to prison terms after unfair trials.Most of the time, no investigations were carried out to identify those among the security forces responsible for the human rights violations committed while responding to the protests.


Millions across the region continued to be deprived of their basic needs in spite of the sustained economic growth inmany countries in Africa during past years. People faced enormous challenges in securing a daily livelihood, often aggravated bymarginalization or political repression, attempts tomuffle their voices and render thempowerless.

Despite such repression, demonstrators against the dire social and economic situation and the sharp rise in living costs took to the streets in numerous countries, including Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea,Mali,Mozambique, Senegal, Somalia and Zimbabwe. The demonstrations, sometimes violent themselves, were usually met with yet more violence by the state. In late February security forces in Cameroon killed up to 100 people in response to violent protests in various towns against the escalating cost of living and low wages. Some of those killed were apparently shot in the head

at close range.

InMozambique, the police killed three people and injured 30 others in February when live ammunition was used against people protesting against an increase in transport costs.

InMali,marches were organized against the rise in the price of basic commodities and against plans to privatize the supply of water in Lere, in the north-west of the country. At least six people were injured in November, one of whomdied later in hospital, when security forces shot at the demonstrators.

In Burkina Faso, security forces arrested several hundred people, after demonstrations against rising living costs in Ouagadougou and Bobo-Dioulasso erupted into violence. At least 80 of those arrested were sentenced to prison terms without having had access to a lawyer.

In Zimbabwe, hundreds of activists protesting against the dramatic decline in the economy and social infrastructure were arrested and detained without charge.Many protests were broken up by the police, often using excessive force. The government continued tomanipulate access to food for politicalmotives even though by the end of the year the UN estimated that about fivemillion people were in need of food aid. Thousands of people,mostly in rural areas, became displaced as a result of the state-sponsored political violence and no longer had access to their food stocks, land or other forms of livelihood. (ANA)


AB/ANA/ 28 May 2009 ---

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