Amnesty International Report 2015/16 - Guinea-Bissau

Republic of Guinea-Bissau
Head of state: José Mário Vaz
Head of government: Carlos Correia (replaced Baciro Djá in September, who replaced Domingos Simões Pereira in August)

The human rights situation improved. However, there were reports of torture and other ill-treatment and deaths in police custody. The authorities took no action to improve poor detention conditions.


In January, Guinea-Bissau's human rights record was assessed under the UPR. The government accepted most recommendations made and noted for further consideration those related to the ratification of the Optional Protocol to the ICESCR, and the Convention on the Non-Applicability of Statutory Limitations to War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity.

August saw the unconstitutional dismissal by President Vaz of Prime Minister Simões Pereira and his government. A week later President Vaz appointed Baciro Djá as Prime Minister, despite opposition from Parliament and widespread protest by civil society which demanded the reinstatement of Domingos Simões Pereira. Lacking parliamentary approval, Baciro Djá was unable to form a government until 10 September, only to be dismissed five days later after the Supreme Court ruled the President's actions unconstitutional. Carlos Correia was then appointed Prime Minister and a new government was formed in mid-October, with Parliament's support.


There were several reports of torture and other ill-treatment by police in the northern town of Bissorã, where local residents referred to the police station as a torture centre. Tchutcho Mendonça was arrested on 3 July at his home in Bissorã, following an argument with his father. He was taken to Bissorã police station where he was tortured and died two days later. Those who saw his body reported that it showed signs consistent with torture. Ten police officers were subsequently arrested but none had been tried by the end of the year.

Also in July, police approached and beat Mamadú Djaló in a street in Bissorã, causing injuries to his torso. No investigation was known to have been carried out into the beating by the end of the year.


In June, the NGO Guinea-Bissau Human Rights League reported that conditions of detention throughout the country were appalling and amounted to cruel and inhuman treatment, particularly the cells of the Criminal Investigation Police and the Second Police Station, both in the capital Bissau, and called for their closure. Conditions in these cells included severe overcrowding, with some inmates having to sleep in the toilets, poor sanitation and ventilation, all of which reportedly led to detainees becoming ill. According to the NGO, the cell at the Criminal Investigation Police had capacity for 35 people but regularly held over 100. The authorities had taken no action to improve conditions by the end of the year.

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