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(VIDEO) GUINEA: Human Rights Group Denounces Massacre of Zogota Residents Resulting in Deaths and Critical Injuries

August 8, 2012

Following is a 19 minute video (in French) taken just hours after the brutal attack in Zogota, August 3-4. Warning:  Very graphic.  After the video is the complete press release of the OGDH –Organization of Guinean Human Rights regarding the brutal attacks.  More later . . .

PRESS RELEASE (Translated through Google with editing by Guinea Oye!)

On the night of Friday, August 3 to Saturday, August 4, at 1 am, armed officers arrived in the district Zogota, Kobela sub-prefecture, prefecture N’zérékoré. Their arrival came after residents of the area protested against a Brazilian mining company based in the town of Agopé. The demonstrators demanded priority hiring of their nationals within the project. Further, according to our sources, the mining town of Agopé was vandalized by some of the demonstrators.

In response to these act, armed men were sent to quell the violence, yet many peaceful people, sleeping at the time, were attacked.

Currently, the casualties are five (5) dead and three (3) serious injuries including two (2) each with an arm amputated and a gunshot to the abdomen. Many residents fled the village to get into the bush. Because of this, it makes it difficult to provide a complete account of the victims.

The sacking of the city of Agopé constitutes a serious criminal offense and it should be referred to the justice system to resolve. But, the use of disproportionate violence by the armed officers against residents and resulting in significant bodily harm and death constitutes violations of human rights which amount to:

1. Breach of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which prohibits arrests between 21h and 6 am except in cases of flagrante delicto.

2. Affect the physical integrity of persons, their lives in flagrant violation of national law Guinea (Articles 5, 6 of the Constitution), the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Article 4), the Declaration Universal Human Rights (Articles 3 and 5) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Articles 6 and 7).

These events occur in a very tense Forestal Guinea:

On the one hand with:

A mass movement of small arms and former rebel factions uncontrolled ULIMO and LURD still active in the border region with countries still weakened by conflicts they have experienced (Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone)

On the other hand with:

Conflicts deliberately maintained between native and foreign breeders that have caused mass killings of over one thousand (1000) heads of cattle.

A dispute between the population and SOGUIPAH Saoro which resulted in a lowering of muscular forces and imprisonment without trial of more than 50 people.

Stigma and resentment caused by inter-communal clashes in Galakpaye in the prefecture of Yomou all of which are a breeding ground for an implosion of unpredictable consequences.

The OGDH strongly condemns all crimes and offenses Zogota. It calls:

a) The judicial authorities so that they diligently, as soon as possible, conduct surveys to identify and assess both the sponsors and perpetrators of all crimes committed on this occasion.

b) For the political parties, civil society organizations and the wise of communities living in Forest Guinea to make every effort to iron out the latent crisis experienced by people of this region.

c) For the government to exercise the political will to take charge of all security challenges and relational issues facing Guinea in order to create conditions for peaceful coexistence between peoples who have always lived in harmony and social peace. Ensure strict compliance with fundamental rights recognized by the Guinean citizens to all the national, subregional, regional and universal force in the Republic of Guinea.

d) To the international community, do not be distracted by the absence of open conflict and believe that the Republic of Guinea is a haven of peace. While ensuring the smooth conduct of reforms initiated in the areas of security and justice, it must be firm against any attempt to challenge the democratic process which is the only way to guarantee the establishment of good governance.

The President

Dr Sow Thierno Maadjou

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