Last Updated: Friday, 20 October 2017, 11:43 GMT

Amnesty International Annual Report 2011 - Burkina Faso

Publisher Amnesty International
Publication Date 13 May 2011
Cite as Amnesty International, Amnesty International Annual Report 2011 - Burkina Faso, 13 May 2011, available at: [accessed 22 October 2017]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Head of state: Blaise Compaoré
Head of government: Tertius Zongo
Death penalty: abolitionist in practice
Population: 16.3 million
Life expectancy: 53.7 years
Under-5 mortality (m/f): 160/154 per 1,000
Adult literacy: 28.7 per cent

A man died as a result of ill-treatment by police; two others were shot dead by members of the security forces during the resulting protests. At least one person was sentenced to death. Despite an official commitment to improve access to maternal health care, maternal mortality remained high.

Death in custody and extrajudicial executions

In June, Arnaud Somé, an alleged drug trafficker, was arrested by police in Gaoua, 400km north of Ouagadougou, the capital. He was beaten and severely ill-treated, and died in hospital as a result of his injuries. In the following days, protests against torture in custody in Gaoua became violent and were repressed by the police. Using live ammunition, police killed two people – Sié Bouréïma Kambou and Etienne Da. An inquiry was opened, but by the end of 2010 the findings had not been made public.

Death penalty

In June, Alaye Diakité was sentenced to death by the Criminal Chamber of the Appeal Court of Bobo Dioulasso for the murder of his half-brother.

Right to health – maternal mortality

In February, during a meeting with Amnesty International's interim Secretary General, President Blaise Compaoré committed to lifting all financial barriers to emergency obstetric care and access to family planning, as part of a strategy to combat maternal mortality.

In April, Burkina Faso co-sponsored a resolution on maternal mortality at the UN Human Rights Council. It called for a human rights perspective to address preventable maternal mortality and morbidity and greater commitment and political will.

Despite these commitments, by the end of 2010 no real measures had been taken to improve maternal health services. In particular, women were required to pay fees if they gave birth in government facilities. Access to family planning and to contraceptive services remained very low.

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