Tomorrow Could Be Guinea’s “OK Coral:” Opposition Declaration States All Leaders Will Be in Court to Refute Gov’t. Charges on March Violence AND They Are Bringing Their Supporters As Well
If you recall, this past Saturday, a Guinean court sent summons to all leaders of the opposition for an appearance in court Thursday, March 14, to answer charges of civil liability for damages and violence during the February 27 march and subsequent days. During the march, it was supporters of Alpha Conde’s RPG party, security services, and Donzos who initiated violent attacks on unarmed, peaceful marchers which included rock-throwing (by both RPG thugs and security services, setting off of extensive amounts of tear gas which could have caused a deadly stampede in a march that was several hundred thousand in size, knife attacks, and live gunfire from police). Suggesting that the opposition was responsible for this was a highly provocative move on the part of the government, but trying to drag the leaders of the opposition parties into court to answer charges was the last straw.
On Sunday, presidents Alassane Ouattara of the Ivory Coast, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf from Liberia, and Ernest Bai Koroma from Sierre Leone paid a visit to Conde under the guise of discussions about Mano River issues and Mali. What they were really there to do was to pull Guinea’s enfant terrible back from the brink that could easily spark a civil war — one that could spill over into their borders as well. No doubt, they emphasized that dragging the opposition into court under trumped up charges was illegal and undemocratic and that such an action would only serve to rally the opposition’s forces. Further, it would only take a shot or two of live gunfire into opposition crowds and Conde could be guaranteed that an army of Western diplomats would swoop in on him and dance on his head in between threatening to withhold financial aid. Anyway, one, or all, of these persuasions worked and, on Sunday night, the government makes an announcement that the Thursday, March 14, court session was canceled and any charges relating to the march would be dealt with on an individual basis. Then, the government decides to criminally charge three opposition members who signed the letters of information required by the government to be submitted prior to marches and scheduled them for court tomorrow to answer criminal charges. The opposition, as you will see in the declaration below, says – no way! Charge one of us and the whole opposition leadership will be there WITH our supporters.
So, the three presidents are back where they started and, while the opposition is fired up, it remains in the government’s “crosshairs.” Let’s hope more international press covers tomorrow’s events beyond Reuters’ anemic accounts – Conde has not received nearly enough of the lousy press he deserves.
GROUP statement, ADP, and CDR “political leaders ADP, Collective and they solemnly inform CDR they will all be present at nine o’clock in the morning, at the hearing on Thursday, March 14 the Court of first instance Dixinn “
- Published on Wednesday, 13 March 2013 9:33
- Written by Barrie K
The member parties of the ADP, the Collective and CDR express their outrage at the judicial harassment faced by political leaders of the opposition accused wrongly of all violence which came after a peaceful march on February 27.
They express their unwavering solidarity vis-à-vis their colleagues unfairly under the blow of an indictment for offenses that are attributable only to the police and thugs and other activists of the ruling party.
The opposition said that it is its activists and supporters who have been victims of live bullets, assault and battery, destruction of property and other acts of vandalism. Indeed, it is mostly among the demonstrators on February 27 who will be counted in the tally of the deaths, hospitalizations and brutal and illegal arrests.
Although the prosecutor, on the orders of the Minister of Justice, has decided to temporarily suspend the civil suit filed against thirteen opposition parties, the subpoena of the three political leaders who signed letters of information about the event required by government authorities, are to be charged criminally involving all parties in the opposition –ADP, the Collective and the CDR.
All political parties who are members of the three political groups feel co-responsible, jointly and severally, for all peaceful demonstrations they organize.
Also, the political leaders of ADP, Collective and they solemnly inform CDR they will all be present at nine o’clock in the morning, at the hearing on Thursday, March 14 at the Court of first instance Dixinn to answer the charges that are unduly charged.
They ask all their supporters and sympathizers as well as all citizens who love justice, freedom and democracy to accompany them to support their colleagues arbitrarily pursued in the framework of an unfair judicial proceeding.
ADP, the Collective and CDR confirm their determination not to yield to any form of intimidation in their legitimate struggle for the advent, in Guinea, of a state that respects democratic principles and human rights.
Conakry, March 12th, 2013
The Alliance for Democracy and Progress (ADP)
The Collective Political Parties for Completing the Transition
The Republican Club (CDR)