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Urgent Action Outcome: Disappeared Human Rights Defender Released

Daouda Diallo
© Private

On 1 December 2023, Daouda Diallo, a human rights defender and secretary general of the Coalition Against Impunity and Community Stigmatization, was abducted by security forces in civilian clothes in Ouagadougou, capital of Burkina Faso, and taken to an unknown location. He was freed on 7 March 2024.


In early November, human rights defender Daouda Diallo, along with several civil society and media figures, was conscripted, allegedly to participate in security operations. Although he never received a notification of his conscription, Daouda Diallo contested the legal basis for the conscription through a press release while expressing his right to dissent.

On 1 December 2023, Daouda Diallo was apprehended by security agents while he was visiting the passport office and driven to an unknown location, subject to an enforced disappearance. On 4 December 2023, a picture of him in military fatigues was shared on social media. Other pictures and videos of him with other conscripts, taking part in military exercises, were also shared in February 2024. During the three months of his conscription, the government never communicated on his whereabouts and the legal challenges against his conscription.

On 6 December 2023, the Ouagadougou administrative court ruled that the conscription orders are not legal and ordered their suspension. The court also ordered the army to immediately refrain from carrying out those conscriptions’ orders. Despite those decisions, Burkinabe’s authorities are still using targeted conscription to repress critics and harass human rights defenders and civil society organizations.

On 7 March, Daouda Diallo was freed and returned to his home in Ouagadougou. Following his release, he said, ‘I would like to thank Amnesty International and all those who mobilized and called for my release. These appeals were a light in the solitude of my ordeal and a reminder that I was not alone. Let us remain united in our commitment to defend the principles of justice principles of justice, equality and dignity for all. Today I'm delighted to be back home with my family, my comrades and my colleagues after these 3 months and look forward to enjoying the moments we have been deprived of.’

Despite this release, several other civil society figures including Rasmane Zinaba, Bassirou Badjo and Me Guy-Hervé Kam, all members of the Balai Citoyen, have been victims of enforced disappearances and likely conscripted in 2024.

Amnesty International continues to monitor Daouda Diallo and the other activists’ situation regarding conscriptions and will respond to any developments as appropriate.

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