He is the oldest of the current activists. He was praised for his courage and perseverance. Thomas Rasafindremaka has been fighting for thirty years against the land grabbing of small farmers in the big south. Two years ago, when his fight began to become more troublesome, his network saved him: “When I was arrested and imprisoned in 2019, it worked in my favor, my notoriety and the solidarity of civil society and the media that talked about this issue. There are also international organizations – the Frontline Defenders and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights – which have come to my aid. ”
Two decades ago, he explains, the risks to activists were minimal. Therefore, he urges young people to take two precautionary measures: “My advice is to unite to rebuke others. As it is, the government and the authorities cannot target an (individual) person. After that, we should always have security in Madagascar, for example working with Amnesty International or other international organizations. Otherwise it is very dangerous. ”
The Queen, who has been active for two years against discrimination and harassment, is the Queen’s most favorite information. In order to “network” he participates in meetings with his colleagues – tries as much as possible and learns from the experiences of his brothers in arms: “The important thing is small tips, small tips for moving forward, especially if you do not have the funds. In this workshop, when we encounter traditional officers, I could understand how some people acted in the bush. How to communicate with them? Who was going to greet them first? What are the traditions to respect? ”
For meeting organizers such as Mahaliana Rabari-Ranovona of Ivory, a volunteer organization, identifying the needs of participants was a question: “The workshop highlighted the psychological, physical and financial issues that plague activists. They talked about insecurity about their person, physical and police assaults, not listening to public opinion. Apparently, the lack of money, material, often returns. But there is also a demand for skill development, or the help of lawyers for better knowledge of the law. ”
The project should be replicated in other areas where activists are more isolated. As a reminder, to date, no law in the country protects whistleblowers.