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ECOWAS court orders Mali to release soldiers held for 2012 coup

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THE ECOWAS Court of Justice yesterday, ordered immediate release of 12 soldiers belonging to the National Committee for the Recovery of Democracy and the Restoration of the State of Mali linked to the 2012 coup d’état in the Republic of Mali.

  A statement by the court’s press unit said the court also ordered the payment of 20 million CFA francs to each of the 12 soldiers as compensation for the violation of the fundamental human rights by the Malian government.

  Justice Gberi-Be Ouattara, who delivered the judgment, held that the respondent, the Republic of Mali, was liable for violating the rights of Captain Issa Tangara, and 11 others including General Amadou Sanogo.

  The court specifically held that the soldiers’ right to fair trial within reasonable time, presumption of innocence, liberty and freedom from arbitrary detention, were violated by the Malian government.

  It also ordered the government to stop the violations and submit a report on the implementation and execution of the judgment to the court within six months.

  The court equally ordered the Republic of Mali to bear all costs.

  However, the court rejected the applicants’ claim for the violation of their right to human dignity and held that the claim was unfounded.

  The applicants’ lawyers, Issa Coulibaly and Mariam Diawara, had in the suit marked, ECW/CCJ/CCJ/20/19 and filed on May 3, 2019, claimed that the applicants were victims of rights violations.

  They sued the Malian government for 500 million CFA francs as individual damages for the prejudice suffered.

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