Madagascar: Respecting Citizens’ Right to Freedom of Expression

The detention of Member of Parliament Marie Jeanne d’Arc Masy Goulamaly by the government of Madagascar is a stark violation of democratic principles and a blatant suppression of free speech.

Development Diaries reports that Masy Goulamaly was arbitrarily arrested and accused of orchestrating protests following an official complaint she made about the credibility of last month’s legislative elections, according to findings by Amnesty International.

Following her arrest on 31 May, Goulamaly has continued to be held without cause.

By arresting a legislator for voicing concerns about the fairness of legislative elections, the authorities are sending a message to other politicians and citizens that dissent and scrutiny of the electoral process will not be tolerated.

This undermines the integrity of the electoral system and also erodes public trust in the government’s commitment to upholding democratic norms.

Also, this action is an affront to the role of parliamentarians, whose duty includes representing their constituents and ensuring that their voices are heard, particularly in matters as crucial as elections.

Goulamaly’s complaint was an exercise of her legitimate rights as a representative of her district, aimed at ensuring transparency and fairness in the electoral process.

Detaining her for fulfilling her responsibilities as an elected official is an abuse of power and a direct attack on the democratic institutions that are supposed to safeguard the rights and freedoms of the populace.

This unjust detainment is condemnable.

Such authoritarian measures have no place in a society that claims to value democracy and human rights.

Development Diaries calls on the Malagasy authorities to release Goulamaly and ensure that all allegations of electoral irregularities are investigated thoroughly and impartially.

Failure to do so not only tarnishes Madagascar’s democratic credentials but also sets a dangerous precedent for the treatment of those who dare to challenge the status quo.

Photo source: Amnesty International


About the Author