29th Session: Commissioner Ben Salem
1. The Complainant is the Chairman of the Mouvement Burkinabé des Droits de l'Homme et
des Peuples (MBDHP), an NGO that enjoys observer status with the Commission. He
cites a series of human rights violations reported to have been committed in Burkina Faso
from the days of the revolutionary government to date. He therefore requests the
Commission to strive to reveal the truth with regard to each of the cases reported not to
have been reacted to by the competent bodies in his country.
2. According to the Complainant, Burkina Faso, on 11th December 1991, re-established the
rule of law by adopting a new constitution. This rekindled the hope that all human rights
violations committed between 1983 and 1991 would be treated for the common good of
the citizens of that country. Unfortunately, this was not the case. Furthermore acts
prejudicial to civil and political liberties have been recorded.
3. The Complainant alleges that since the creation of the Mouvement Burkinabé des Droits
de l'Homme et des Peuples in 1991, the latter has recorded several cases of human rights
violations in the country after having been informed on several occasions by the victims
and has unsuccessfully requested the Judiciary to investigate the said cases. The most
important case to be brought to the notice of this NGO was that of the suspension,
discharge and removal of magistrates which took place on 10th June 1987. It is reported
that the state afterwards granted amnesty as part of the reinstatement of workers wrongly
laid off under the regime called the National Revolutionary Council that ruled Burkina
Faso from 1983 to 1987. Many workers are reported to have been reinstated while many
others were not.
4. The Chairman of MBDHP Mr. Halidou Ouedraogo, a Magistrate by profession belongs to
this second category as well as another magistrate, Mr. Compaore Christophe. Both of
them are claiming damages in kind. Their claim has remained in vain to date. The
Supreme Court, which is reported to have been informed about the case fifteen years ago,
has never taken a decision on the case.
5. According to the Complainant, although the situation has slightly improved, the
Magistrates concerned continue to suffer from harassment ranging from arbitrary postings to
manipulations by the Supreme Council of Judges and Magistrates and irregularities in the
promotion of some Magistrates. The two unions of Judges and Magistrates are reported
therefore to have, in a joint communiqué, denounced the subordination of their profession,
corruption of judges and irregularities observed in the deliberations of the Supreme Council
of Judges and Magistrates.
6. The Complainant alleges that many cases brought by him before Criminal Courts in 1990,
1991, 1994 and 1996 have not been examined.
7. In October 1991, the Organisation Pour la Democratie, Mouvement du Travail

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