Protesters killed in tens, opposition repression, police impunity … human rights violations are increasing in recent years in Guinea and threaten to worsen with the next presidential, alarmed Amnesty International.
“we asked for the government of president Alpha Condé to stop the reign of fear and repression by modifying the laws about the security forces’ arms use ,” said Amnesty on the occasion of the publication of a report entitled “Guinea: the seers to the choice of 2020”.
Seventy protesters or bystanders, including a seven-year-old child reached a stray bullet, have been killed since January 2015 at rallies; testimonials and ammunition employees designated police officers or gendarmes, says the NGO. Three members of the police also died, it adds.
Despite dozens of complaints, “impunity continues to be the rule in Guinea” for security forces, says the report on 2015-2019.
It notes that after decades of authoritarian and military rule, Condé’s government, elected in 2010 and re-elected in 2015, has seen progress, such as the abolition of the death penalty in 2017, the criminalization of torture in 2016 or the adoption of a Law on Policing in 2015.
But he denounces the excessive use of force, the bans on peaceful demonstrations, the “massive” and “arbitrary” arrests, including dozens of journalists and human rights defenders.
Despite the 2016 law, “cases of torture and other ill-treatment are still reported”. As for the overcrowded prisons, the conditions are “deplorable”, and 109 prisoners died, according to a very conservative estimate, of infectious disease, acute malnutrition and violence.
The report is published as this small poor country of 13 million inhabitants, customary protests and brutal repressions, is agitated again by the protest since a collective called for the mobilization to block a possible third term President Condé.
/ ** / / ** / Police officers try to stop the march towards the highway during a demonstration in Conakry, Guinea, on March 22, 2018. (VOA / Zakaria Camara)
New bloody demonstration against President Condé At least 17 civilians and one gendarme have been killed since 14 October. Dozens of people were arrested and tried. “This cycle of violence could slip with the intensification of political tensions” in the run-up to the 2020 presidential elections, worries Amnesty. Amnesty also sounds the alarm on the rights of women and homosexuals. Guinea has confirmed the ban on female genital mutilation in 2016, says the NGO. “However, this practice remains common and few investigations and prosecutions have been initiated”. Even though the rate has dropped, a 2018 demographic and health survey indicates that 94.5% of women aged 15-49 have undergone female genital mutilation, she says.
Mamadou Saliou DIALLO