Burkina Faso: Government Must Ensure Transparent, Just Arrests

Arbitrary arrests in Burkina Faso have been a significant human rights concern, worsened by the country’s ongoing security crisis and political instability.

Development Diaries reports that a lawyer, Guy Hervé Kam, was rearrested and transferred to the custody of the gendarmerie on 29 May, and then remanded in a military prison on new charges of conspiracy against the state.

It is understood that Kam, co-founder of the civil society movement, Balai Citoyen, has been accused of undermining state security.

The arrest of Kam happened shortly after a court ordered his release. Amnesty International has also reported the enforced disappearance on the same day of Lieutenant-Colonel Zoungrana, who was forced to follow armed men.

Reports from human rights organisations indicate that security forces and intelligence agencies frequently target activists, journalists, and opposition members under the pretext of maintaining national security.

These arrests not only violate international human rights standards but also undermine the rule of law, contributing to a climate of fear and repression.

The lack of enforcement of judicial decisions and the continuation of arbitrary arrests of civil society members for the past year in Burkina Faso are concerning.

Without significant changes, arbitrary arrests will continue to hinder Burkina Faso’s progress towards peace, security, and respect for human rights, further entrenching the cycle of violence and instability.

International and domestic calls for accountability and reform have been persistent but largely unheeded.

Development Diaries calls for the immediate release of Kam and Zoungrana, as we urge the government to adhere to legal standards and ensure that arrests are conducted transparently and justly.

We also call for independent investigations into allegations of abuse and the establishment of oversight mechanisms to monitor the conduct of security forces.

Photo source: Guy Hervé Kam


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