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Amnesty Int’l. Human Rights Report Shows CNDD Has a “Rap Sheet” a Mile Long

May 27, 2010

Just a few of those murdered in a September 28, 2009, attack by Guinea military junta forces against unarmed demonstrators 

 

Issued May 27, 2010

Amnesty International Human Rights Report 2010

GUINEA

Security forces extrajudicially executed more than

150 peaceful demonstrators and injured more than

1,500 others in a stadium during a protest; dozens

of women were raped in public. Torture and other illtreatment

were widespread. Dozens of people were

arbitrarily detained, including at secret locations.

The security forces continued to enjoy impunity for

human rights violations. Human rights defenders

and journalists faced threats and intimidation.

Background

In January, ECOWAS endorsed the decision taken by

the AU and suspended Guinea until the country reestablishes

constitutional order. President Moussa

Dadis Camara, head of a military junta that seized

power in late 2008, promised to hold elections in 2009

and pledged that neither he nor any member of the

National Council for Democracy and Development

(Conseil national pour la democratie et le

developpement, CNDD) would run for the presidency.

The CNDD’s popularity dwindled when it became

clear in February that President Camara was reluctant

to keep his promise.

After the 28 September stadium massacre

(see below), ECOWAS and the EU imposed an arms

embargo on Guinea. Targeted sanctions against

members of the junta were also imposed by the AU

and EU.

In December, President Camara was wounded in

an assassination attempt; General Sekouba Konate

replaced him on an interim basis.

Excessive use of force and extrajudicial

executions

Security forces routinely used excessive and

unnecessary lethal force against peaceful

demonstrators. No sanctions were taken against those

responsible for unlawful killings. On several

occasions, CNDD members encouraged people to

lynch suspected thieves.

 In August, one person was killed and two were

seriously wounded in Kamsar when the security forces

broke up demonstrations against water and electricity

shortages.

 On 28 September, more than 150 people were

extrajudicially killed and over 1,500 injured when the

security forces violently repressed a peaceful

demonstration in Conakry. Thousands of

demonstrators assembled in a stadium in response to a

call by a coalition of political parties, trade unions and

civil society organizations to protest against the

participation of President Camara in the presidential

elections planned for January 2010. The junta had

banned the demonstration.

 On 30 September, a soldier dragged a man along the

main road in Bomboli before stabbing him to death. His

body was left on the road.

 Also on 30 September, in the district of La

Cimenterie, Conakry, soldiers wearing red berets, who

were looking for an alleged opposition supporter,

stabbed to death his 75-year-old mother.

Impunity

The security forces continued to enjoy impunity.

A national commission of inquiry, set up in 2007 to

investigate grave human rights violations in 2006 and

2007, did not conduct any investigations.

In October, the UN Secretary-General established

an International Commission of Inquiry (ICI), endorsed

by the AU and ECOWAS, to investigate the grave

human rights violations, including rape, committed by

Guinean security forces in September. In December,

the ICI submitted its report to the UN Secretary-

General. The report was not officially made public.

The ICI found that it was reasonable to conclude that

the crimes committed on 28 September and in the

immediate aftermath may constitute crimes against

humanity. It also concluded that there were sufficient

grounds to attribute criminal responsibility to some

individuals, including President Camara; Commander

Moussa Tiegboro Camara, Minister of the Special

Services responsible for combating drug trafficking

and organized crime; and Lieutenant Aboubacar

Cherif Diakite, the President’s aide-de-camp and

commander of his personal bodyguards.

In October, the Prosecutor of the International

Criminal Court (ICC) launched a preliminary

examination to determine whether the violations of

28 September fell within the court’s jurisdiction. The

same month the junta set up a national commission

of inquiry, which was boycotted by local civil society

organizations.

Torture and other ill-treatment

Torture and other ill-treatment, including rape,

sustained beatings and stabbings, were routinely

committed by the security forces. Detainees were also

held incommunicado at secret locations.

 Soldiers arrested in January (see below) were beaten

upon their arrival in the military barracks on Kassa

Island. They were undressed and were forced to lie

down with their hands tied behind their back, and then

trampled and beaten.

 People arrested after the September stadium

massacre were tortured in secret detention. People

searching for the bodies of their relatives or friends

were arrested and beaten in military camps.

Violence against women

Sexual violence, including rape, was prevalent,

especially after 28 September.

 Dozens of women told Amnesty International that

they had been raped in public on 28 September in the

stadium by soldiers, including the Presidential Guard.

Medical records from Conakry’s Donka hospital

indicated that at least 32 women protesters were raped.

Several women who were arrested and transferred to a

health centre after they had been raped were

subsequently re-arrested. They were then held for five

days, drugged and again raped by security forces.

 The body of a woman arrested on 28 September was

returned to her family a few days later showing signs of

sexual violence as well as burn marks from an iron.

 At least two women who testified before the ICI

received death threats after the departure of the UN

delegation in early December.

Human rights defenders

Well-established civil society groups, including the

Guinean Human Rights Organization (Organisation

Guineenne des droits de l’homme, OGDH) and the

National Council of Civil Society Organizations,

continued to work for human rights, despite the risks,

threats and intimidation.

Following the 28 September events, the OGDH was

regularly attacked on the national radio and television.

 Mouctar Diallo, Vice-President of the Observatoire

national des droits de l’homme (ONDH), Guinea’s

national human rights commission, was arrested on

26 November. He was held at the Alpha Yaya military

barracks in Conakry before being transferred to the

detention centre PM III (Poste militaire III). He was not

charged or allowed a visit by a lawyer. The authorities

informed Amnesty International that Mouctar Diallo

was accused of a state security offence.

Arbitrary arrests and detentions

Dozens of people were arbitrarily arrested and

detained. The number of people arrested on 28

September remained unknown.

 In January, at least 12 soldiers, including military

officers, were arrested and held without charge at the

Alpha Yaya military barracks. Most had worked for

former President Lansana Conte. They were allowed

some family visits but no access to a lawyer. In

August, 11 were transferred to a detention centre on

Kassa Island. The men were only wearing underwear

and were tied with ropes. On Kassa, they were

tortured and ill-treated (see above) and denied family

visits. On 5 December, they were transferred to

Conakry central prison and on 27 December to

premises run by the security forces’ Rapid

Intervention Brigade. They had not been charged by

the end of the year.

 Four soldiers, including military officers, were

arrested in April and held on Kassa Island without

charge until their release in December.

 In the run-up to the 28 September demonstration,

members of the Autonomous Battalion of Airborne

Troops were deployed in several districts of Conakry,

including Bomboli, Hamdalaye, Mapoto and Enco 5.

On 29 September, they raided Bomboli and arrested

people in their homes and on the streets. They beat

some of those they arrested and put them in the boots

of vehicles.

Freedom of expression

Freedom of expression, particularly for journalists

reporting on anti-government demonstrations or

considered hostile by the CNDD, continued to be

routinely restricted. Journalists working for private

radio stations were intimidated and threatened; some

adopted self-censorship by playing music to avoid raids.

 In August, Diarougba Balde, a journalist with the

Kibarou website, was arrested while covering a

demonstration against the CNDD. He was released a

few hours later.

 On 28 September, Moctar Bah and Amadou Diallo,

respectively correspondents of the France-based RFI

and the UK-based BBC radio stations, were threatened

and assaulted by the security forces while covering a

rally against the CNDD. Soldiers forced them to their

knees in front of dead bodies. Their personal

belongings were confiscated and their equipment was

smashed.

Amnesty International visit/reports

An Amnesty International delegation visited Guinea in November to

carry out research and hold talks with the authorities.

 Guinea: What has happened to the civilians and soldiers of whom there

is no news? (AFR 29/006/2009)

 Guinea: Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review

(AFR 29/007/2009)

 Guinea: Details of violence emerge – Amnesty calls for international

commission of inquiry, 30 September 2009

 Guinea: Call for suspension of military and police weapons transfers,

8 October 2009

 Guinea: Evidence of new arrests, harassment and illegal detentions by

security forces, 3 December 2009

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