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VIDEO: 2007 Guinea Massacre, PRESS RELEASE: Human Rights Groups File Complaints in Guinean Court Concerning Serious HR Abuses in 2007 and 2010

May 25, 2012

The following is perhaps one of the most chilling videos concerning the use of state-sponsored violence in Guinea. In January 2007, unionists and civil society members, concerned about the Guinean economy and the repressive nature of the regime of President Lansana Conte, marched in Conakry. They did not make it far before being mowed down. There were Guinean military at the scene as well as soldiers from Guinea-Bissau who were brought in by the State to do most of the dirty work.  This was a massacre.


Below is a press release issued by the International Federation of Human Rights based in Paris and the Guinean Organization for the Defense of Human Rights and Citizens regarding complaints filed on May 18, 2012, in the Guinean court system about state-sponsored murder, rape, and torture against unarmed civilians.

While it is unlikely that the Guinean court system will deal appropriately with either case, this action gets the cases into the system. Then, if Guinea demonstrates that it is unwilling or unable to prosecute the cases, the International Criminal Court can try the cases directly, if it chooses.

The following press release has been translated from French to English via Google along with editing by Guinea Oye.  If you wish to read the French version, please go to Guinee Libre.


Background on the 2007 and 2010 Human Rights Abuses in Guinea from the Press Release

In January and February 2007, important, peaceful demonstrations were held throughout the territory led by the unions and civil society in favor of purchasing power and the rule of law.

Brutally repressed by security forces of the declining regime of President Lansana Conté, the balance sheet of repression would amount to hundreds of deaths and injuries, rapes, and looting. These serious violations of human rights have been accomplished without any official investigation, or any judiciary procedure, that would have shed light on one of the most violent political repression of these recent years in Guinea.

In October 2010, according to information transmitted to justice, elements of the presidential guard of Acting President of the transition arbitrarily arrested and detained several individuals and reportedly subjected them to torture in the presence of and following the instructions of Mr. Sekou Camara Resco,General Nouhou Thiam, and Commander Sidiki Camara, known as “De Gaulle.” The crimes perpetrated by persons in charge of the public authority took place on the sidelines of the second round of the presidential campaign and not directly related to it. These violations, however, remain symptomatic of arbitrary practices, legacies of political violence and a half century of impunity in Guinea.

PRESS RELEASE:

International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH)

Guinean Organization for Defense of Human Rights and the Citizen (OGDH)

PRESS RELEASE:

Guinea: The FIDH and the OGDH undertake a further step in the fight against

impunity — filing two complaints of serious human rights violations

perpetrated in 2007 and 2010

Conakry, Paris, Nairobi, May 18, 2012 – In a judicial mission in Conakry, the FIDH and its member organization in Guinea, OGDH, filed this day, two complaints in court in Guinea for serious violations of human rights perpetrated in 2007 and 2010. Our organizations are asking the court to look into these crimes so that their authors answer for their actions and that victims can seek reparations and call upon the authorities to support the course of justice.

On May 18, 2012, the FIDH and the OGDH, already civil plaintiffs in the case of September 28, 2009, filed, before the Guinean justice system, two complaints of civil parties consisting of 65 victims for serious violations of human rights perpetrated in 2007 and 2010 by agents of the Guinean government. These two separate legal actions, aimed at establishing the facts and responsibilities of political violence, took place in January and February 2007 during peaceful demonstrations, and in October 2010 when 15 people were arbitrarily arrested, detained and subjected to acts of torture in Conakry. In the latter procedure, several political and military leaders performing government functions in 2010 are directly implicated, including the current Governor of Conakry and Commander of the Guinean army, Mr. Sekou Camara Resco; former Chief of Staff of the transition regime, General Nouhou Thiam and the former head of the presidential guard in the transition, Commander Sidiki Camara,known as “De Gaulle.”

“The filing of these complaints marks the contribution of civil society in broadening the fight against impunity in Guinea to situations other than the stadium massacre, perpetrated on 28 September 2009,” said Mr. Patrick Baudouin, honorary president of the FIDH and responsible for the Legal Action Group of the FIDH.

While Guinea has undertaken steps towards the establishment of the rule of law with justice which is equal and independent, several important acts have already been taken in this direction, including the charge on the first February 2012 of Lieutenant-Colonel Moussa Camara Tiegboro for his presumed involvement in the massacre of 28 September 2009 (see: http://www.fidh.org/Guinee-Avancee-majeure-dans-l ) and conviction amounting to a symbolic fine of Commander Resco Sekou Camara, 30 November 2011, for having ordered the arbitrary detention of five defenders of human rights (see:

http://www.fidh.org/Une-decision-judiciaire-contre-l ).

“These lawsuits would have been unthinkable in the past,” said Thierno

Maadjou Sow. “Now we must educate them with independence and achieve a fair and equitable resolution to restore the victims’ rights and advance Guinea, “he added. By opening a preliminary analysis, 15 October 2009, regarding the events of September 28, 2009, the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) took up the general situation issue of human rights violations in Guinea. The ICC retains jurisdiction for all international crimes committed in the territory since Guinea became a member state of the Court on 1 July 2002.

“Both in the case of September 28, 2009 those of 2007 and 2010, we chose to go to the Guinean court system first to seek redress for impunity. “But, if Guinean courts have neither with will nor the capability to try these cases, the ICC has the duty to act on these cases,” said Belhassen, FIDH President.

FIDH is a non-governmental organization of “human rights, which brings together 164 organizations in more than 100 countries. FIDH has a consultative status with the UN, UNESCO and the Council of Europe and observer status with the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.


Page 2

“Guinean civil society as a whole was severely repressed during the regimes that have succeeded to the democratic transition and has paid a heavy price in its struggle for change and democracy. “We want to believe that the commitment of these procedures will permit the words of forgotten victims to be heard and help to build confidence in an institution that has long been at the service of the powerful,” said Aziz Diop, Executive Secretary, National Council of organizations of civil society in Guinea (CNOSCG). “For our country needs truth, justice and reconciliation, “he added.

Concerning the reconciliation process, a temporary commission of reflection, created by President Alpha Conde in August 2011, was responsible for proposing a process to lead to the establishment of a National Commission for Truth, Justice and Reconciliation. This body should hear all victims of successive regimes in Guinea: those of Camp Boiro, repression of 1985, 2007, 2009 and other serious violations of human rights in Guinea, to conduct investigations and hearings privately and publicly, and provide redress and compensation for victims.

Our organizations believe that the establishment of such a commission will allow Guinea to turn the page of his past political violence and state.

Background

In January and February 2007, important, peaceful demonstrations were held throughout the territory led by the unions and civil society in favor of purchasing power and the rule of law.

Brutally repressed by security forces of the declining regime of President Lansana Conté, the balance sheet of repression would amount to hundreds of deaths and injuries, rapes, and looting. These serious violations of human rights have been accomplished without any official investigation, or any judiciary procedure, that would have shed light on one of the most violent political repression of these recent years in Guinea.

In October 2010, according to information transmitted to justice, elements of the presidential guard of Acting President of the transition arbitrarily arrested and detained several individuals and reportedly subjected them to torture in the presence of and following the instructions of Mr. Sekou Camara Resco,General Nouhou Thiam, and Commander Sidiki Camara, known as “De Gaulle.” The crimes perpetrated by persons in charge of the public authority took place on the sidelines of the second round of the presidential campaign and not directly related to it. These violations, however, remain symptomatic of arbitrary practices, legacies of political violence and a half century of impunity in Guinea.

Press contacts:

Karine Appy:

+33 1 43 55 14 12 / +33 1 43 55 90 19 / +33 6 72 28 42 94 / presse@fidh.org

Florent Geel:

+33 6 48 05 92 23

One Comment leave one →
  1. Ibrahima Diallo permalink
    May 25, 2012 11:57 AM

    In principle, filing such complaints is a good thing for the sake of testing the local judiciary system; however, we all know that it is a time wasting process as long as Mr Condé is Head of state. That means we are going to wait for justice a couple of years longer.
    It is unfortunate the FIDH and OGDH do not try the ECOWAS court of justice in Abuja (Nigeria) competent for such cases of human rights violations. With that court, we do not need to wait for the local judiciary process to fail. The ECOWAS court of justice can deal with the complaints straight away. Let’s empower that African court of justice instead of the ICC when possible.

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