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Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders Annual Report 2003 - Guinea-Bissau

Publisher International Federation for Human Rights
Publication Date 14 April 2004
Cite as International Federation for Human Rights, Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders Annual Report 2003 - Guinea-Bissau, 14 April 2004, available at: [accessed 7 October 2015]
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.

Mr. Joao Vaz Mane arrested and threatened50

On 29th January 2003, Mr. Joao Vaz Mane, vice chairman of the Guinean Human Rights League (Ligue guinéenne des droits de l'homme – LGDH) was served with a warrant from the State Security services, and then held in detention for over 20 days.

On 28th January, Bombolon, a private radio station invited Mr. Vaz Mane to participate in a programme called "palavering on peace". During the broadcast, Mr. Vaz Mane accused the President Kumba Yala of misappropriation, saying that the President had used funds intended for pilgrimages to Mecca for political and personal purposes. Mr. Vaz Mane was never charged. He was finally released on 19th February 2003, and claims that he was not allowed meeting with his lawyer or his family during that time.

Mr. Vaz Mane was further seriously threatened by Mr. Bitchofla Na Fafé, the chief police commissioner, for denouncing the criminal conduct of some police officers on a radio programme put on Bombolom on 9th July 2003. One of the examples he gave was that of an 18-yearold boy who was killed by a policeman for selling groundnuts without any authorisation from the Ministry of Trade. He had quoted the case of a woman who was arbitrarily arrested and sexually assaulted by policemen as they came to her home in search of her husband who was suspected of money laundering.

At a press conference held on 14th July 2003 at the central police station, Mr. Bitchofla Na Fafé publicly denigrated LGDH activities by saying that "Mr. Vaz Mane will not have any more opportunities to spread false information about my policemen and the ministry. That was Mr. Vaz Mane's last statement. He will have to face up to a real man". Mr. Bitchofla Na Fafé openly threatened the LGDH vice chairman to launch legal proceedings against him, although the threat was never turned into action.

[Refworld note: This report as posted on the FIDH website ( was in pdf format with country chapters run together by region. Footnote numbers have been retained here, so do not necessarily begin at 1.]

50. See Urgent Appeals GNB 001/0203/OBS 006 and GNB 002 /0803/OBS 036.

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