Issued May 27, 2010
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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