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Rights Group Urges Mali to Release Teenage Detainees

  • VOA News

A leading human rights group is urging Mali's government to release five boys held by the military for about seven months.

Amnesty International issued the call after a delegation led by the group's secretary general, Salil Shetty, met with the teenagers at a military detention center in Mali's capital, Bamako.

The rights group said the detainees are 15 to 17 years old.

In a statement, Shetty said the delegation was "horrified" to see the "traumatized" teenagers held in poor conditions. She called the detainment a violation of national and international law.

Amnesty said one of the five detainees is a child soldier who joined an al-Qaida-linked extremist organization, the Movement for Oneness and Jihad. The rights group said the four other teenagers were arrested because of their suspected ties to armed groups.