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Amnesty International Annual Report 2011 - Guinea

Publisher Amnesty International
Publication Date 13 May 2011
Cite as Amnesty International, Amnesty International Annual Report 2011 - Guinea, 13 May 2011, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4dce1567c.html [accessed 20 April 2014]
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: Alpha Condé (replaced Sékouba Konaté in December)
Head of government: Mohamed Saïd Fofana (replaced Jean Marie Doré in December, who replaced Kabiné Komara in January)
Death penalty: retentionist
Population: 10.3 million
Life expectancy: 58.9 years
Under-5 mortality (m/f): 157/138 per 1,000

Allegations of torture and other ill-treatment by the security forces continued. Dozens of Guineans were arbitrarily arrested and detained. Some of them were prisoners of conscience. No one was prosecuted for crimes against humanity committed in September 2009. Violence broke out late in the year as election results were disputed.

Background

President Sékouba Konaté, appointed interim president in December 2009, gained support from the international community, which pressed the authorities to organize a presidential election. Jean Marie Doré, a civilian, was chosen as Prime Minister in January and a new government was appointed in February. In May, a new Constitution was adopted by presidential decree.

After the first round of the presidential election in June, political and ethnic tensions rose amid accusations of bias within the National Independent Electoral Commission. After three postponements, the second round was held in November. Opposition leader Alpha Condé won the poll, but the defeated candidate, Cellou Dalein Diallo, declared that the election had been rigged and violent clashes broke out between his supporters and the security forces. A state of emergency was declared on 17 November, imposing a curfew and granting the security forces extra powers.

In October, the EU prolonged its sanctions against Guinea. As well as an arms embargo, there was a ban on entry visas for individuals linked to the repression of September 2009.

Crimes under international law – September 2009

The National Commission of Inquiry established to investigate the events of 28 September 2009 submitted its conclusions in February 2010. The Commission acknowledged that demonstrators had faced violent repression by members of the security forces, but blamed the "excited crowd" as well as the lack of equipment and co-ordination of security forces. It accused civil society organizations of spreading "far-fetched figures regarding the number of deaths, rapes and disappearances". Regarding sexual violence, the report noted that no female victim of rape came to testify before the Commission, and that it therefore relied only on medical records. The Commission named Lieutenant Aboubacar "Toumba" Diakite, the man who allegedly attempted to kill President Camara, and his unit of "red berets", as responsible for the violence. It called for them to be tried before Guinean courts. The Commission recommended a general amnesty for misconduct by leaders of the former opposition, now in government.

The Commission stated that political leaders, in refusing to cancel the demonstration after it had been forbidden by the authorities, shared some responsibility for the events. It also stated that demonstrators committed acts of robbery, looting, and destruction of public and private property.

In February, the Deputy Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) said that those bearing responsibility for the crimes committed in Guinea should not go unpunished and that the violators should be tried either by the Guinean authorities or by the ICC. She added that crimes against humanity were committed on 28 September 2009 and in its aftermath and that the ICC should continue with its preliminary investigation.

The Guinean authorities took no steps to suspend or prosecute violators of human rights. The government appointed in February included members of the military junta who had served in the previous government. Two former ministers who had been named by the UN International Commission of Inquiry into the events of September 2009 were appointed to the presidential cabinet. The Commission of Inquiry reported to the UN Secretary-General in December 2009 but its report had not been officially made public by the end of 2010.

International scrutiny

Guinea's human rights record was assessed in May under the UN Universal Periodic Review. During the review process, Guinea accepted more than 100 recommendations. It agreed to: bring to justice all alleged perpetrators of extrajudicial executions, acts of torture, ill-treatment, rape and other grave human rights violations; ensure that victims of these violations benefit from full reparation and that families of those who died receive adequate compensation; and reinforce the protection of vulnerable groups, particularly women. Guinea expressed reservations over nine recommendations, including one on the abolition of the death penalty.

Torture and other ill-treatment

Allegations of torture and other ill-treatment by the security forces continued. Most people arrested arbitrarily were beaten at the time of their arrests either on the streets or in their homes. Some were also beaten at the gendarmerie headquarters and in police stations.

  • In October, the security forces ransacked several areas of Conakry, the capital, including Bambeto, Koza and Hamdallaye. Five people, including Mamadou Adama Diallo, were beaten and taken to the police station. They were later released without charge.

  • Aliou Barry, president of the National Observatory for the Defence of Human Rights, was beaten in October when he tried to protect a group of people in Hamdallaye from assault by members of the security forces. His left arm was broken and he was taken to the gendarmerie headquarters and held for a few hours before being released without charge.

Arbitrary arrests and detentions

After the first and second rounds of the presidential election in June and November, dozens of Guineans, including prisoners of conscience, were arrested and detained in military barracks and police stations. Most were denied access to legal representation; many were also denied access to their families and to medical care. Some of them were freed within days or weeks.

Excessive use of force

During protests and political meetings, security forces used unnecessary or excessive force against peaceful demonstrators. At least 10 Guineans were killed in the streets in November. They were shot by the security forces in the head, the abdomen, the thorax and the back of the head.

  • Mamadou Macka Diallo, an 18-year-old student in Conakry, was killed by a policeman in Conakry in November. Abdoulaye Ba, a 16-year-old student was shot dead by a member of the security forces while entering his home in Koza, Conakry. Abdoulaye Boubacar Diallo, a docker, was killed by a member of the security forces as he ran away when he saw the security forces shooting at people.

In September and October, after the postponement of the election, security forces used excessive force to break up demonstrations by supporters of rival political parties. The security forces fired indiscriminately at unarmed civilians, beat protesters and ransacked homes. In October, more than 60 people were injured and at least 15 had bullet wounds. One person, Ibrahim Khalil Bangourah, died as a result of his injuries.

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