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The Worst of the Worst 2010 - Guinea

Publisher Freedom House
Publication Date 3 June 2010
Cite as Freedom House, The Worst of the Worst 2010 - Guinea, 3 June 2010, available at: [accessed 21 September 2017]
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.

Population: 10,058,000
Capital: Conakry

Political Rights: 7
Civil Liberties: 6 ↓
Status: Not Free

Ten-Year Ratings Timeline for Year under Review
(Political Rights, Civil Liberties, Status)
Year Under Review2000200120022003200420052006200720082009

Ratings Change: Guinea's civil liberties rating declined from 5 to 6 due to the military junta's repressive measures, including the use of rape as a means of political intimidation and the massacre of more than 150 opposition protesters in September.

2009 Key Developments: Captain Moussa Dadis Camara, the leader of a military junta that took power in December 2008, refused in 2009 to adhere to an initial promise that he would not run in the presidential election set for early 2010. His erratic and repressive rule during the year culminated in the massacre of more than 150 opposition protesters in September. The incident, which also featured brutal rapes and beatings by security forces, triggered an investigation by the United Nations as well as a series of international sanctions. In December, Camara was shot and seriously injured by one of his officers, and the consequences remained uncertain at year's end.

Political Rights: Guinea is not an electoral democracy. Elections under presidents Ahmed Sekou Toure and Lansana Conte were heavily manipulated, and the December 2008 military coup suspended all political activity, civilian government institutions, and the constitution. The resulting junta, the National Council for Democracy and Development (CNDD), promised to hold open presidential and legislative elections in early 2010, but those plans were in doubt after the September 2009 massacre of opposition supporters and the December assassination attempt on junta leader Moussa Dadis Camara. Corruption has been cited as a serious problem by international donors, and many government activities are shrouded in secrecy.

Civil Liberties: Under Conte, restrictive laws allowed media censorship and criminalized defamation, and private radio and print outlets were subject to suspensions and harassment. In 2009, the military junta sought to intimidate independent journalists through arbitrary arrest and other tactics, and several were beaten, threatened, and harassed in the wake of the September massacre. Internet access is limited to urban areas, but has generally not been restricted by the government when available. The constitution, which provides for the protection of religious rights, was suspended after the 2008 coup. Academic freedom has been hampered to some degree by government influence over hiring and curriculum content. The CNDD restricted freedoms of association and assembly, and the authorities clearly demonstrated their contempt for these rights during the brutal suppression of the September 2009 opposition rally. Under Conte, the nominally independent courts were marred by corruption, a lack of resources, nepotism, ethnic bias, and political interference. The legal system was thrown into turmoil by the CNDD's initial suspension of judicial institutions, and in June 2009 court staff went on strike to protest political interference in judicial affairs. Security forces have long engaged in arbitrary arrests, torture of detainees, and extrajudicial execution with impunity. While the law prohibits ethnic discrimination, human rights reports have noted societal discrimination in employment, housing, and marriage patterns. In 2009 the government signed a number of highly questionable and nontransparent contracts with foreign companies for exploitation of Guinea's mineral wealth. Societal discrimination against women is common, and while women have legal access to land, credit, and business, the inheritance laws and the traditional justice system have favored men. Security personnel openly raped dozens of women in the 2007 and 2009 crackdowns. Female genital mutilation is an illegal but nearly ubiquitous practice.

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