Daddis presidential bid – Letter from Pottal-Fii-Bhantal Fouta Djallon to Mrs. Fatou Bensouda (EN-FR)

Daddis presidential bid – Letter from Pottal-Fii-Bhantal Fouta Djallon to Mrs. Fatou Bensouda.
New York, May 29, 2015
Dear Madam Bensouda,
Following the announcement of the candidacy of Mr. Daddis Camara in the presidential elections of Guinea, a coalition of 29 Human Rights organizations, including the FIDH and OGDH, made a statement to mark their indignation on this inappropriate bid which is a sign of contempt to the judicial process and to victims of the massacres of 28 September 2009.
On many occasions – by online petitions, memoranda and letters – our organization and many victims have called on you to request the transfer of the 2009 crimes against humanity’ investigation to the International Court of Justice. We’ve regularly kept you informed of the actions and statements of the Guinean government’s obvious denial of justice to the victims. On October 25th, 2014, in a speech in the Soussou language given in the Loos Islands, the Guinean President admitted having asked the “white folks” to put an end to the investigations. That same month, the justice minister, accused those who want that judicial proceedings to be expedited of having hidden political motives.
The culture of impunity is not only a legacy of past state violence in Guinea. It has become a method of governance. With the approach of presidential elections, the Guinean president wants to use the 2009 crimes to sow discord among the Guinean communities. The staging of demonstrations in the town of Nzerekore and the appointment in the government of a supposed ally of Mr. Daddis Camara, Mr. Boubacar Barry, are part of his plans. In addition, the authorities spread rumors of rebellion in the region from alleged accomplices of Mr. Daddis. A concerted effort is being made by the government to entertain the fiction of Mr. Daddis Camara political stature behind which Guinean citizens native of the Forest region would identify. The campaign is an insult to the Guineans from the southern region of Guinea who are strongly opposed to human rights violations which they have always been victims of. The governance by impunity introduced by the Guinean president has made ethnicity a screen to hide grave crimes. The goal – for the purposes of electoral maneuvering – is to make all denunciations of the crimes committed by the CNDD, an attack against local residents. These amalgams have served as cover for state crimes in Guinea and are the framework of perpetuating impunity.
Our organization and the associations of the victims believe that all conditions are met for your intervention. Since the charges made on a few officers in 2012, the Guinean judges in charge of the September 2009 crimes case have made no progress. This laxity is unacceptable. One of its consequences is to have enabled the Guinean government to inject in the electoral process an officer charged of crimes against humanity. Faced with this evident obstruction of justice of the Guinean government, it is the duty of the I.C.C to take up the issue of the killings. The Guinean populations and victims put their hope in your institution of last resort to begin the eradication of impunity in our country. This eradication is the only way to counter the confrontations the government of Mr. Conde has prepared with his policy of political division and legal laxity.
We remain available should you need any further information.
Respectfully,
COMMISSION FOR THE CENTRAL POTTAL-FII-BHANTAL FOUTA-DJALLON

 

Candidature présidentielle de Daddis – Lettre de Pottal-Fii-Bhantal Fouta-Djallon à Madame Fatou Bensouda.
New York, le 29 Mai 2015
Chère Madame Bensouda,
Suite à l’annonce de la candidature de Mr. Daddis Camara aux élections présidentielles de la Guinée, une coalition de 29 organisations de défense des droits de l’homme incluant le FIDH et l’OGDH, a fait une déclaration pour marquer leur indignation sur cette candidature inopportune qui est un signe de mépris du processus judiciaire et aux victimes des massacres du 28 septembre 2009.
A maintes occasions – par pétitions en ligne, mémorandums et lettres – notre organisation ainsi que de nombreuses victimes vous ont interpellée pour demander le transfert des enquêtes sur les crimes de 2009 à la cour internationale de justice. Nous vous avons régulièrement tenue informée des actions et des propos de déni évident de justice aux victimes des crimes contre l’humanité de 2009 du gouvernement guinéen. En date du 25 octobre 2014, dans un discours en langue Soussou aux îles de Loos, le président guinéen a avoué avoir demandé aux « blancs » de mette fin aux enquêtes sur les massacres. Ce même mois, le ministre de la justice, accusa ceux qui veulent que les procédures judiciaires soient accélérées d’avoir des arrière-pensées politiques.
La culture de l’impunité ne procède pas seulement du passé de violence d’état en Guinée. Elle est devenue une méthode de gouvernance. À l’approche des élections présidentielles, le chef de l’état guinéen veut faire des crimes de 2009 un moyen de discorde entre les communautés guinéennes. Les montages de manifestations dans la ville de Nzérékoré et la nomination dans le gouvernement d’un supposé allié de Mr. Daddis Camara, Mr. Boubacar Barry, font partie de ses plans. En outre, les autorités répandent des rumeurs de rébellion dans la région par des prétendus affidés de Mr. Daddis. Cette campagne est faite pour entretenir l’illusion d’une stature politique de Mr. Daddis Camara derrière laquelle les guinéens originaire de la région de la Forêt se reconnaitraient. En soi, elle est une insulte aux guinéens de la région du Sud de la Guinée qui restent fermement opposés aux violations de droits de l’homme dont ils ont été toujours victimes. La gouvernance par l’impunité instaurée par le président guinéen a fait de l’appartenance ethnique un paravent pour des crimes imprescriptibles. Le but visé est de faire – à des fins de marchandages électoraux – de toutes dénonciations des crimes commis par le CNDD, une atteinte aux habitants de la région. Ces amalgames sont la couverture aux crimes d’état en Guinée et le cadre de perpétuation de l’impunité.
Notre organisation et les associations des victimes considèrent que toutes les conditions sont remplies pour une intervention de votre part. Depuis les inculpations de quelques officiers en 2012, les juges guinéens en charge du dossier des crimes de Septembre 2009 n’ont fait aucun progrès. Ce laxisme est inacceptable. L’une de ses conséquences est d’avoir permis au gouvernement guinéen d’injecter un accusé de crimes contre l’humanité dans le processus électoral. Face à cette obstruction manifeste de la justice du gouvernement guinéen, il est du devoir de la CPI de se saisir du dossier des massacres. Les populations guinéennes et les victimes placent leur espoir en votre institution de derniers recours pour entamer l’éradication de l’impunité dans notre pays. Cette éradication reste le seul moyen pour contrer les affrontements dont le gouvernement de Mr. Condé a préparé les conditions de par ses politiques de division et de laxisme juridique.
Nous restons à votre disposition pour toute information complémentaire et vos prions de croire à nos sentiments distingués

Pour la commission centrale de Pottal-Fii-Bhantal Fouta-Djalon

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HR Groups, FIDH-OGDH Call Charge of Claude Pivi For Sept. 28 Crimes, “A Big Step for Guinean Justice”

claudepivi1Claude Pivi, in Battle Dress

Guineastadium9-28-09, Opposition supporters gathered for a rally at stadium when state security accompanied by foreign mercenaries closed exits and began shooting, stabbing and raping

[Article translated into English via Google with editing by Guinea Oye]
Posted on June 28, 2013

Paris, Conakry, June 28, 2013 – Colonel Claude Pivi, head of presidential security, was formally charged yesterday by the judges in charge of the case on 28 September 2009. The day before, the General Ibrahima Balde, High Commander of the Gendarmerie was heard as a witness. Our organizations welcome this judicial advanced as expected by the civil parties than important for the judicial process and the Guinean justice.

The three judges assigned to investigate, since 1 February 2010, the case of September 28, indicted Colonel Claude Pivi for his role in the events at the stadium in Conakry, where at least 157 people were killed, and hundreds of women were raped. Mr. Pivi must now be heard on its merits, starting next week.

“Since the beginning of the investigation, the victims we assist in this procedure Claude Pivi feared that, due to his duties and his place in the military hierarchy, to escape justice. Yesterday, the judges have made a first response formally charging them. Mr. Pivi is innocent and he will now be able to prepare his defense, but it’s a first victory for the plaintiffs and more broadly in the fight against impunity in Guinea, “said Thierno Sow, president of the OGDH .

Claude Pivi was appointed Minister of Presidential Security by Captain Moussa Dadis Camara, head of the military junta in Guinea between December 2008 and January 2010. Since then it has been kept at the head of this elite unit, he still heads today. According to the report of the International Commission of Inquiry set up after the fact, Mr. Claude Pivi was among those who “could be held criminally responsible for their involvement in the events of September 28 and the following days.”

GUINEA16In the days after the massacre at the stadium, Guineans search for dead relatives

Our organizations, a civil action in this case, the judges have sent items including sending the presence and potential liability of Mr. Pivi in ​​fact a very serious near the stadium and in various districts of Conakry, in the day September 28 and the days that followed.

FIDH OGDH the AVIPA and AFADIS who met the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in The Hague in May 2013 had expressed concern at some sluggishness in the judicial system, and relayed the growing impatience of the victims, nearly 4 years after the fact. The International Criminal Court, which placed the preliminary analysis in Guinea after the events of the stadium, led an eighth mission in Conakry in early June to assess the progress of the investigation and make recommendations.

“This case is an opportunity for the Guinean court to try those responsible for serious violations of human rights. The Guinea must seize this opportunity to restore victims’ rights and to strengthen a judicial system which has suffered from arbitrary decisions for five decades, “said Mr. Drissa Traoré, Vice-President of FIDH.

However, our organizations have expressed concern about the serenity of the judicial process and the safety of its participants or victims who testified in this case, because of the position held by Mr. Pivi today as Minister of Presidential Security. As our organizations had recommended for Colonel Moussa Tiegboro Oumar Camara, indicted in February 2012, or the commanding Sekou Resco Camara, Governor of Conakry, charged in a case of torture in February 2013, both of which have been maintained their government positions, we recommend that stakeholders take all steps to ensure the independence and impartiality of the judicial processes in respect of the right to a fair trial. We therefore invite you to consider setting aside of these officials, blamed for acts of exceptional gravity.

guinea9-28greenberetfoulahSept. 28, 2009 – Several Guineans were apprehended on this day and never been seen since

FIDH OGDH the AVIPA and AFADIS out that the Council of Human Rights of the United Nations adopted in its 23th session held in Geneva in June 2013, a resolution on Guinea, including encouraging the Guinean Government to “support the work of the panel of judges and expedite legal proceedings against those responsible for the events of 28 September 2009.”

“Alpha Condé has made 2013 the year of justice, which we welcomed. Today, at the end of the first half of this year, the Guinean justice sends a strong signal with its charge of Claude Pivi, as it did in February charging the Commander Sékou Resco Camara, in another case. However, the Guinean justice must go further and the government will give it an even greater support for the taking stock in December is positive. For the symbolic affairs of the fight against impunity for January and February 2007, 28 September 2009 has now been added to the violence that rages in Conakry, including demonstrations in recent weeks, “said Karim Lahidji, President of FIDH

Human Rights Groups to Guinea Gov’t: Bring in Dadis Camara for Questioning About Sept. 28, 2009 Massacre and Rapes

SEPT28BODIESCOLLECTING  BODIES OF THE DEAD, A FEW DAYS AFTER THE STATE-SPONSORED MASSACRE AND RAPES OF SEPT. 28, 2009

The International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH) has issued a call for the Guinean government to bring in Capt. Dadis Camara, after he attends the funeral of his mother in N’Zerekore this Sunday, for questioning and to make a statement about the September 28, 2009 massacre and mass rapes. The Attorney General of Guinea opened a judicial inquiry into this case on February 1, 2010. The inquiry has yielded a few less-than-serious indictments and it is apparent that the Guinean government purposely stalled the investigation every step of the way – one time it stopped operations because it did not have pencils and paper.

More than any of the witnesses interviewed thus far, Camara will be able to provide the most detailed information, especially about the involvement in the September 28 crimes by civilian politicians and military leaders of the highest rank. While Camara may sweat at this turn of events, it is Conde and other members of his government that may have the most to worry about.

FIDH is joined in this call by Guinean human rights organizations –all of which are listed at the bottom.

Moussa Dadis Camara in Guinea: an opportunity for advancing the Guinean justice in the case of the massacre of September 28, 2009

Friday, April 12, 2013 5:42 p.m.

fidh On the occasion of the visit to Guinea by the former head of the Guinean government, our organizations have expressed their concern about the progress of the current investigation into the events of September 28, 2009 and called the judicial and political authorities in Guinea to ensure an independent and effective investigation, to allow for a fair trial within a reasonable time. The hearing of Camara by judges would be a strong and necessary in this direction.

The former head of the military junta in Guinea between 23 December 2008 and 3 December 2009 should go to Nzérékoré Prefecture Forest Guinea to attend the funeral of his mother, who died recently. This is the first time that the former head of state will be staying in Guinea since his evacuation to Morocco and Burkina Faso, following the assassination attempt in 2009, shortly after the events of September 28, where at least 157 people were killed after soldiers opened fire on demonstrators.
A judicial inquiry was opened by the Attorney General on February 1, 2010, to investigate crimes committed in Conakry on 28 September and following days. The three judges in charge of the investigation have heard more than 300 victims, but they charged or interviewed a handful of perpetrators, including Colonel Moussa Camara Tiegboro, charged on February 1, 2012 but still functioning openly, or Colonel Abdoulaye Cherif Diaby, former Minister of Health of the junta, charged on 13 September.
On several occasions, the judges attempted to interview Moussa Dadis Camara on the events of September 28. This is a first international interrogatory letter was issued on 5 April 2011. Unanswered, it was followed by a second request made ​​at the beginning of 2013, from which there is no answer.
If Moussa Dadis Camara has not been formally challenged by the Guinean justice to this day, the International Commission of Inquiry on Guinea had estimated in its report issued in December 2009, that “there is sufficient reason to presume direct criminal responsibility of President Moussa Dadis Camara, or command responsibility for acts that occurred in the context of the attack and the following days. “
Camara should be heard by the judges to contribute to the manifestation of the truth about the September 28 massacre.
“If the interrogatory letters were not successful so far, the Guinean justice could benefit from the presence of Moussa Dadis Camara on Guinean soil to ask questions that had been addressed when he was staying in Ouagadougou,” said Mr. Patrick Baudouin, honorary president of the FIDH and member of the group of lawyers of the victims of September 28.
“We respect the mourning for Mr. Camara and the possibility for him to attend his mother’s funeral and mourn with his family. We simply ask that justice can continue its work, so that the truth is finally known and officials judged. We also have experienced bereavement but for many of us, we have not been able to bury our loved ones, “said the father of a victim disappeared at the stadium on 28 September and not yet recovered.
Our organizations call the Guinean political and judicial authorities to take all necessary measures for the proper conduct of the proceedings and to reaffirm their commitment to ensure that violations of human rights in Guinea are now known by the court.
“It is not to precipitate a complex instruction, unprecedented for the Guinean judicial system, by its size and by the number of authors involved or civil parties formed, which could be counter-productive and lead to a botched procedure that would not be satisfactory for anyone. But it should be that education increased significantly and steadily, not to disappoint the expectations of justice for the victims and the fight against impunity in Guinea, a fundamental challenge in establishing the rule of law, “said Thierno Sow, president of the OGDH.
Our organizations also recalled that Guinea is the subject of a preliminary analysis of the International Criminal Court, opened by the Prosecutor’s Office October 15, 2009. According to the principle of complementarity enshrined in the Rome Statute, the Prosecutor’s Office may decide to open an investigation if it found a lack of willingness or ability of the Guinean justice to judge the main perpetrators of the most serious crimes committed in this country.

Background:
Moussa Dadis Camara came to power following a military coup after the death of Lansana Conté. Having pledged to hold presidential elections in which he did not participate, Mr. Camara had finally shown his intention to run, triggering a significant mobilization of civil society and opposition political parties.
Thus Sept. 28, 2009, thousands of people from all political affiliations and from many civil society organizations converged at the stadium in Conakry to protest peacefully against the possible candidacy. Once the protesters arrived at the stadium, elements of the Guinean armed forces and especially the red berets of the presidential guard entered the compound and opened fire on the crowd, killing, according to the report of the Commission of Inquiry International United Nations, at least 156 people, including a party that has still not been found. More than a hundred women were raped, hundreds injured and dozens of shops looted by the police.

http://www.fidh.org

Joint press release:

International Federation of Human Rights – FIDH

Guinean Organisation for the Defence of Human Rights – OGDH

African Assembly for the Defence of Human Rights – RADDHO Guinea

Equal rights for all – MDT

Association of victims, relatives and friends of 28 September 2009 – AVIPA

Association of Families of the Disappeared on 28 September 2009 – AFADIS

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

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