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Guinea Update: Opposition’s Next Steps, Police Thugs Terrorize Koloma, Ransom Required to Get Out of Jail and Conde Pretends to Stop Camara from Doing Wrong

May 15, 2012

Mud in Your Rice? Conakry’s “Not So Finest” Police Will Be Happy to Oblige

OPPOSITION’S NEXT STEPS

After a very successful march on May 10 and a relatively successful general strike on May 14, the Opposition plans a press conference today to present the next steps for future events. Those events will include a Saturday, May 19, “all hands on deck,” gathering of opposition supporters to strategize for coming events.

The opposition was planning a march for Sunday, May 20, as well. The opposition press conference should provide an update.

MONDAY, MAY 14 GENERAL STRIKE: Security Officers Made Sure It was Not a Quiet Day in Koloma

The general strike was largely followed in Conakry. The streets were deserted and shops were closed. The security forces were deployed in major intersections in the town of Ratoma.

In keeping with the call for a strike, the residents of Kaloma (a neighborhood of Ratoma) stayed home focusing on daily chores. Unfortunately, their tranquility was shattered when they were besieged by security officers who made arrests, conducted searches, beat residents, stole money, phones and computers and more. Apparently, staying at home and minding your own business does not mean you can escape the wrath of state thugs with billy clubs and badges.

Here are some personal accounts. The information is from Aminata.com, with a Google translation and editing by Guinea Oye:

“Here (Editor’s note: Koloma), we live in hell. They enter our houses, beat the occupants. In our area, I saw five young embedded in a pickup. They take everything they find in homes. Two policemen have stolen 500,000 Guinean francs with valuables says a local resident.

According to one woman, security officials reportedly poured pots on the fire. “They came to find us preparing our meal, they threw down on the ground everything that was being prepared. Some poured mud in our dining areas” says Mariama Bah Bobo.

“We thought that this is a day of general strike, to stay home without working. Now, if we are at home and they beat us, we no longer know where to go to have peace,” said Amadou Diallo.

You Want Your Son Out of Jail? Open Your Wallet

Information from Aminata.com with Google translation and editing by Guinea Oye:

According to several sources, to obtain the release of activists arrested during the march of the opposition, their families would have to pay one million, some up to two million Guinean francs.

Matam at PM3, families of prisoners are before the local Squadron to negotiate the release of their detained relatives. “I have my big brother who is trapped in the Force since the event. I marched for two days to see how I can help him out of this dungeon. They (the officers) have told me they want two million. I was able to mobilize a million, I’ll see if they will accept. “explains Lamarana Bah.

For Alseiny Diallo, he had to pay 800,000 francs to recover his bike. He says he is leading in the procession when his motorcycle left to save themselves from punishment. “It’s Hamdallaye I dropped my bike on Saturday, I came to the squadron, they asked me to pay 800,000 for it. That’s what you’re paying for motorcycles. I have a friend who has given two million to secure the release of his younger brother

It is a tradition in the country, following the events, families are paying orders are to keep their loved ones will be brought to the prison house of Coronthie. “If you do not pay, your relative will continue to suffer because he will be locked in the central house where he will eventually be judged. But cases will take months to be considered. To avoid it getting to that point, you pay for release from the start ” says Bachir Diallo. Estimates of the opposition, put the number of activists in Alpha Conde’s jails in the dozens.

Conde Tells CENI To Stop Operations in Progress to Revise Electoral Rolls

On May 13, Alpha Conde signed a letter to the CENI to stop its electoral rolls revision temporarily. He suggests that a consultation with operator, Waymark, is necessary to assess the reliability of the equipment and technical procedures. It’s tough to know if there is any meat in this request to the CENI, but many figure it is an attempt to appease worried members of the international communities. There are enough loopholes in his statement to drive a truck through.

More on this later . . .

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