Tribute to Gaëtan MOTOO of Amnesty International, seasoned activist, human rights advocate.
Gaétan MOTOO, craftsman of the early stages of the defense of persons at the beginning of the 90s, this researcher on West Africa at Amnesty international, created a shock wave within his professional fraternity and caused more reknown waves than the previous ones.
One of the leading figures in the struggle for the recognition of Human Rights on the African continent, Gaétan MOTOO, Mauritian, bowed out on May 25, 2018 at the age of 65, not without having shown the world in general, and Africa in particular its attachment to the values that found and cement living together. A staunch defender of human rights in the early hours of the democratic wave on the continent in the 1990s, years of emergence in West Africa and the center of human rights organizations. Alioune TINE, independent UN expert on Human Rights in Mali, former regional director of Amnesty International, recognizes in Gaétan MOTOO, qualities of a man endowed with an ardent and active faith in the fight and the respect for human rights. Competent, humble and sympathetic, he was the African of Amnesty International because for almost 40 years, he experienced all political crises, armed conflicts, tensions followed by serious human rights abuses in Guinea Conakry at the time of Lassana CONTE and Dadis CAMARA, in Togo of Eyadéma GNASSINGBE or even in Ivory Coast etc. The cases of crisis management are a legion and Gaétan MOTOO in the company of Salvatore SAGUES, both elite researchers, have walked mountains and valleys, crossed pitfalls to plant wherever necessary, the roots of deep respect for Human Rights.. Alioune TINE rightly recalls this anecdote which suggests Gaétan MOTOO’s attachment to human values and the strong personality he embodied. It should also be recalled that Human rights watch, Raddho and Chadian organizations relied heavily on reports and research results from Amnesty International and Gaëtan Motoo to document the Habré case in the late 1990s and beyond.
Gaëtan had established contacts with all segments of society: dissidents of all kinds, politicians, unions, activists, journalists, women’s rights activists and victims, anonymous people to whom Gaëtan gave so much attention. « I still remember in 2015, a teenage girl who was looking for news of her father who had disappeared from Nouakchott prison, reports Alioune TINE. Gaëtan had said to the Minister of Justice of this country. « This young girl needs to know is whether she will see her father again or not. Minister, this young girl has the right to know. ” The minister finally admitted that the father was alive and in detention in another prison in the interior of the country.
Africa in general and organizations campaigning for the respect of Human Rights have just lost one of the great activists, « a shield against arbitrariness and the anchoring of the culture of the State, Human Rights and fundamental freedoms… ”He also worked in West and Central Africa for the realization of the political alternation of power of opponents like WADE, Alpha CONDE, GBAGBO and OUATTARA.
Gaétan Motoo of Amnesty International, this highly respected man in Africa, one of his most dedicated and passionate human rights experts. Amnesty International said that « for more than 30 years, Gaëtan has documented human rights violations in West Africa and worked tirelessly to bring justice to affected communities »
His great professional rigor, his remarkable human qualities, his finesse, his attention towards the victims of human rights violations made him a rare expert and a loved one.
Panafrican Corporates Magazine shares in these different testimonies and recognizes this emblematic figure, the commitment and work of Gaëtan who will continue to inspire us and inspire generations of human rights advocates.