LONDON - Authorities in Madagascar must immediately and unconditionally release member of parliament Marie Jeanne d’Arc Masy Goulamaly, who was arbitrarily arrested and accused of orchestrating protests following an official complaint she made about the credibility of last month’s legislative elections, Amnesty International said today.

Goulamaly has remained in arbitrary detention since her arrest on 31 May. Her arrest came after she denounced voting irregularities in her district of Tsihombe, southern Madagascar, during the 29 May elections.

"It is a travesty that Malagasy authorities have detained member of parliament, Marie Jeanne d’Arc Masy Goulamaly, for making a complaint about the fairness of the legislative elections in her district," said Tigere Chagutah, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East and Southern Africa.

“Her continued arbitrary detention violates her rights to freedom of expression and association. Authorities must immediately and unconditionally release Marie Jeanne d’Arc Masy Goulamaly as she is detained solely for peacefully exercising her human rights.”

On 31 May, without a search or arrest warrant, about 50 Malagasy police officers and gendarmes forcibly removed Marie Jeanne d’Arc Masy Goulamaly from her house in Tsihombe district. They drove her to Ambovombe, approximately two hours away, where she has been kept under arbitrary house arrest.

"Malagasy authorities are blatantly keeping Marie Jeanne d’Arc Masy Goulamaly locked up for political reasons. These repressive tactics fly in the face of Madagascar’s regional and international human rights obligations, particularly concerning the right to move freely and choose one's residence within a state, as provided for under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights,” Tigere Chagutah said.


Madagascar held its legislative elections on 29 May 2024. The process was allegedly marred by electoral irregularities that were apparently captured and filmed by voters in the Tsihombe district. These included denying delegates of three of the four legislative candidates entry to polling stations, allowing some of the voting in their absence, registering minors as voters, and using threats and intimidation.

Protests broke out two days later, on 31 May, shortly after Marie Jeanne d’Arc Masy Goulamaly, jointly with another candidate, Vontsoa Christian, submitted an official complaint to the relevant authorities, calling for action on the irregularities. These protests resulted in the burning down of two administrative buildings of the electoral commission.