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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Bah Oury: 22 janvier 2014 , 7 ème anniversaire du massacre au Pont-Tombo de Conakry (VIDEO)

Below is a video of the massacre filmed as it unfolded on January 22, 2007.  Further below is an article by Bah Oury, Vice-President of the UFDG, about the 2007 massacre of an opposition-labor march in Conakry and how violence continues to be the way the government responds to dissent.  Click on the URL below the video to read the article.

 

Sixth Anniversary of 1/22/07, Massacre in Guinea: One of Many State Crimes Not Prosecuted and No Pressure from International Community to Do So (VIDEO)

The following video chronicles a horrible massacre which took place on January 22, 2007, when hundreds of peaceful, unarmed demonstrators were summarily executed by Guinean troops, supplemented with troops from Guinea-Bissau.

The goal of the demonstration was to protest Guinea’s appalling economic conditions and consisted of many union leaders and members who, along with others, were in opposition to the policies of the government of Lansana Conte.

Time after time, Guineans have witnessed how their unpopular governments, at odds with the people, have resorted to mass murder in an attempt to extinguish dissent. Another horrible massacre took place on September 28, 2009, when Guineans marched in opposition to the military junta of Dadis Camara. As in the case of the 2007 massacre, hundreds killed, thousands injured and hundreds of women raped.

No serious government investigation has been conducted regarding either massacre. With the longstanding and pervasive atmosphere of impunity in Guinea, this is not surprising. Further, it seems illogical to have the perpetrators of state violence, and those who commanded them, investigating themselves.

Guinean eyes turned to the international community to apply pressure on international criminal tribunals to prosecute crimes the Government of Guinea steadfastly ignored. The less than enthusiastic response from the international community said it all. It could not provide moral leadership in this case because any prosecution of state military perpetrators would upset a delicate apple cart that would spill into a military coup, sending international investors running fast and far away from Guinea. Essentially, the people of Guinea were betrayed and left in a state of “no justice, no peace.” If interested in reading more about this topic, please see “Preventive Diplomacy:  The International Community’s Betrayal of the People of Guinea”

Human Rights Watch Makes the Case Why International Community Needs to Step Up on September 28 Massacre and Rape Case (EN-FR)

Claude Pivi, Guinean Minister of Presidential Security and a Primary Perpetrator of the September 28 Massacre and Rapes
Claude Pivi, Guinean Minister of Presidential Security and a Primary Perpetrator of the September 28 Massacre and Rapes

Of all the international human rights organizations, only Human Rights Watch (HRW) has kept a constant, close eye on Guinea beginning with the September 28, 2009 massacre and rapes to the state-sponsored violence during the 2010 presidential campaign and during this most recent period of Alpha Conde’s stunning governance of impunity. It has been three years since the massacre and Guinea has clearly demonstrated that it meets the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) criteria for the ICC to take the case over — it is” unable or unwilling to prosecute the case.” In the September 28 case, both of these conditions apply.

In February 2012, Fatou Bensouda, who would become the Head Prosecutor at the ICC four months later, paid Alpha Conde and other government officials a visit to deliver a stern message: either Guinea get on with the investigation and prosecution of the case, or the ICC would take it over. That was ten months ago. And, now it is Human Rights Watch’s turn to bang the Guinean government over the head. HRW has been consistent in calling for the international community to pressure the Guinean government to conduct and conclude an investigation. This is important because the international community has much to do with whether the case goes to the ICC. But, the international community is loathe to apply pressure on Guinea about the case and unlikely to call for a transfer to the ICC. Why? The massacre and rapes of September 28 were committed by Guinean state security officers under orders of the ruling junta headed by Dadis Camara. If Guinea were to engage in a bald-faced investigation, it would lead directly to both civilian and military men who sit as members of Conde’s cabinet and others in high positions of the Guinean government. The international community is reluctant to go out on such a limb. During the 2010 election, the gross fraud and brutal violence, aimed at disenfranchising Peuls, were committed under the orders of interim president, General Sekouba Konate, and accomplished with little objection by the international community. Why should the September 28 case be any different? In both cases the international community was not willing to upset Guinea’s lucrative mining cart to stand up for the rule of law and human rights. Prosecuting military men for gross crimes would only raise the ire of all security forces who might be inclined to destabilize the country, negatively affecting business investment.

HRW knows this case belongs at the ICC and its report on what Guinea is not doing concerning the case, is one of the rungs that must be climbed to point it in the direction of the Hague.

But, this won’t happen unless citizens in the EU, France, and US apply pressure to their governments demanding that it be done.

If there is any doubt that Guinea is stalling on this case, this should clear it up – the Guinean court dealing with the September 28 case was shut down between May and September this year (after Bensouda’s personally-delivered ultimatum) because of lack of pencils, pens, paper and furniture. With all of Guinea’s mining revenue and Conde can’t come up with a few office supplies?

Guinea: Step Up Efforts to Ensure Justice for Stadium Massacre
Important Test Case for International Community to Promote Domestic Accountability

December 5, 2012

Related Materials:

Waiting for Justice

Bloody Monday

Victims of the horrific abuses on September 28, 2009, are waiting for justice more than three years later. President Alpha Condé and other Guinean officials have said they support accountability, but they need to better translate the rhetoric into action. Credible prosecutions would be a major contribution in moving Guinea to an era marked by respect for rule of law.

Elise Keppler, senior international justice counsel

(Conakry) – The Guinean government should increase support to the domestic investigation of the September 28, 2009 massacre, rapes, and other abuses to enable fair, credible prosecutions of the crimes without further delay, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The conclusion is based on extensive research and analysis of the factors holding up the investigation. International partners – including the European Union (EU), United States, and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights – also should increase pressure and support for justice to be done.
The 58-page report, “Waiting for Justice: Accountability before Guinea’s Courts for the September 28, 2009 Stadium Massacre, Rapes, and Other Abuses,” analyzes Guinea’s efforts to hold those responsible for the crimes to account. On that day, several hundred members of Guinea’s security forces burst into a stadium in Guinea’s capital, Conakry, and opened fire on tens of thousands of opposition supporters peacefully gathered there. By late afternoon, at least 150 Guineans lay dead or dying, and dozens of women had suffered brutal sexual violence, including individual and gang rape. More than three years later, those implicated have yet to be held accountable.
“Victims of the horrific abuses on September 28, 2009, are waiting for justice more than three years later,” said Elise Keppler, senior international justice counsel at Human Rights Watch. “President Alpha Condé and other Guinean officials have said they support accountability, but they need to better translate the rhetoric into action. Credible prosecutions would be a major contribution in moving Guinea to an era marked by respect for rule of law.”
The report is based on research in Conakry in June 2012 and follow-up interviews with government officials, lawyers and other legal practitioners, civil society members, journalists, victims, and internationalpartners.
Cases involving serious crimes are often sensitive and need resources that are scarce, Human Rights Watch said. But lack of justice can carry high costs by potentially fueling renewed abuses that are devastating for the population and national development. Impunity for human rights violations has been a persistent problem in Guinea over decades.
In February 2010, a Guinean prosecutor appointed a panel of judges to investigate the crimes.
More than 200 victims have been interviewed, and charges have been filed against at least seven people, including Guinea’s minister in charge of fighting drug trafficking and organized crime and the health minister at the time of the crimes. The Guinean government also recently accepted the appointment of an international expert offered by the United Nations Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict to support the accountability effort.
However, the investigation has yet to be completed more than three years after the crimes were committed, and numerous victims have yet to be given an opportunity to provide statements to the judges. The judges also have yet to interview at least two key suspects – the president at the time the crimes were committed, Captain Moussa Dadis Camara, and Captain Claude “Coplan” Pivi – and witnesses who are not suspects who are members of Guinea’s security services.

In 2011 and 2012, Guinea’s Justice Ministry took upward of a year to begin to address the investigative panel’s lack of basic supplies, including pens and paper, and equipment. As a result, the work of the panel was effectively halted from May to September 2012, after which the judges resumed work when an additional stipend and computer were provided. Limited security, competing professional responsibilities, and the fact that key suspects have not been placed on leave from government posts pose additional challenges.

In addition, Guinean judicial police have yet to provide the judges access to an identified possible mass grave, and a request by the judges to interview the former president in Burkina Faso about the crimes remains outstanding. Meanwhile, some suspects have already been in pretrial detention longer than the two years permitted by Guinean law.

“The investigation has made some important strides, but the Guinean government needs to provide greater support if it is to be successfully concluded,” Keppler said.

Human Rights Watch called for the Guinean government – the president and justice minister in particular – to meet a number of key benchmarks to ensure that the panel of investigative judges can operate effectively. The government should make sure the judges have adequate resources and security; facilitate the appointment of relevant international experts; place key suspects on leave from their government posts, especially where they could interfere with investigations; and work to enable them to interview former President Dadis Camara.

In addition, the judges should swiftly deal with any illegal pretrial detention of suspects, bringing those who need to remain in pretrial detention to speedy trial and releasing any others. The justice minister also should initiate a witness and victim protection and support plan and support law reform, including making crimes against humanity domestic crimes and abolishing the death penalty.

The report also calls for greater international support for fair and credible prosecutions for the September 28 crimes.

The report found that the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the UN Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict have made vital contributions in pressing for justice for the September 28, 2009 crimes. The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights also has raised concerns and provided some informal supplies to the judges, but it should take a more active role in pressing the government to ensure that the investigative panel can function effectively.

Key governments and intergovernmental players – including the EU, US, and France – should substantially increase public and private diplomacy with Guinean officials to press for justice and ensure that judges can work effectively. In addition, these players should invite requests for financial and technical assistance for efforts such as witness and victim protection and support, forensic investigation, training, and law reform. International partners do not appear to be providing any direct support for investigating and prosecuting the September 28 crimes.

ICC states parties and the United Nations notably have increasingly expressed commitments to identify ways to help promote accountability before domestic courts. This would maximize what the ICC calls complementarity, whereby the court only intervenes when national courts are unable or unwilling to prosecute. Accountability efforts in Guinea provide an important opportunity to advance this goal, Human Rights Watch said.

In October 2009, the ICC Office of the Prosecutor placed the situation in Guinea – which had joined the ICC in 2003 – under preliminary examination.

Some Guinean civil society and victims have indicated that they are waiting for the International Criminal Court to open an investigation into the September 28, 2009 crimes so that those responsible can be held to account.

Whether the ICC may open an investigation in Guinea is an open question under the ICC’s complementarity principle. But even if the ICC were to open an investigation, its scope would be limited since it is based thousands of miles away in the Netherlands, and only focuses on suspects with greatest alleged levels of responsibility, and on genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.

“Guinea’s domestic investigation is a potentially important test case for the international community to help ensure accountability at the domestic level,” Keppler said. “Guinea’s international partners should use encouragement, pressure, and support to maximize its prospects to provide justice for the stadium massacre.”

Also available in French.

Use UN Statement on Political Rape in Guinea to Get Case Transferred to the International Criminal Court (ICC)

Yesterday, on the third anniversary of the massacre and rape of Guinean citizens by members of Guinea’s ruling junta, the people received some good news from the United Nations. Zainab Bangura, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Sexual Violence in Conflict, issued a declaration that told the world something Guineans have known all along. That is, Guinea’s lack of progress on the case is the result of pervasive impunity of Alpha Conde’s administration.

After three years of pretending to investigate this case, the Guinean court system has fulfilled the criteria which allow cases to be transferred from the country of origin to the International Criminal Court: a country must demonstrate that it is unwilling or unable to prosecute. We know that three years ago Guinea was unwilling to prosecute largely because an investigation would unravel the involvement of former and present government officials in the attack, including Alpha Conde, himself. As for being unable to try the case, let’s just say the court system is not a model of judicial independence. While Ms.Bangura is not in a position to demand the transfer of this case to the ICC, she is ringing a loud bell. Those determined to get justice for the victims should take the bell and ring it loudly in the Hague at Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s door. After all, she was one of the first international investigators to come to Guinea to investigate the massacre in February 2010 and she said, before she left, that crimes against humanity had taken place. Alpha Conde’s administration will sit on this case for as long as it can and will try every trick in the book to prevent it leaving Guinea. This is the time for a full court press. Justice delayed is justice denied.

Zainab Bangura

Statement by Special Representative of the Secretary-General
on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Zainab Bangura

GUINEA-CONAKRY: POLITICAL RAPE REMAINS UNPUNISHED
(New York, 28 September 2012)

Three years ago today, the atrocities committed against peaceful protesters by security forces in Guinea-Conakry shocked the world. Women were particular targets of the violence. Public rapes and gang-rapes of women in broad daylight dramatically showed that sexual violence is not only a weapon in times of war. Whether it serves as a tactic of conflict or part of the repertoire of political repression, the intent is the same: to humiliate, silence, intimidate and punish the victims.

The International Commission of Inquiry on the 28 September 2009 events in Guinea verified that in addition to the massacre of at least 150 unarmed protesters, no less than 109 women suffered rape and other forms of sexual abuse. According to the International Commission of Inquiry, these widespread and systematic attacks could constitute crimes against humanity.

I welcome the indictment, announced earlier this month, of Colonel Abdoulaye Chérif Diaby, former Minister of Health in the Moussa Dadis Camara government, for his alleged responsibility in the 28 September 2009 events. It is important that these and other charges are processed swiftly and thoroughly, as justice in Guinea has already been delayed for too long. Although Lieutenant Colonel Moussa Tiegboro Camara earlier this year was charged for his role in the massacre, to date not a single perpetrator has been convicted.

Last November, my predecessor visited Guinea to meet with rape survivors, representatives of victims associations, and government officials. A Joint Communiqué was agreed between the government of Guinea and the United Nations, clearly stating the government’s commitment to fight impunity and ultimately prevent and deter sexual violence. The Joint Communiqué also welcomed the assistance of the Team of Experts on the Rule of Law / Sexual Violence in Conflict to support the Panel of Judges in Guinea, created to lead national investigations into the 2009 incidents. The Team of Experts is currently engaged in discussions with the national authorities to deploy an expert on sexual violence, and I want to encourage the government of Guinea to facilitate this deployment as soon as possible.

There is an urgent need to assist the survivors and bring the remaining perpetrators to justice. It is equally crucial that all victims, other witnesses and their families are afforded full protection and that no effort is spared to ensure their safety throughout this process. Known abusers must not be allowed to hold positions of authority.

Addressing these atrocities is crucial for fostering reconciliation, for trust in the justice system, and for a durable peace. We are committed to supporting the government’s efforts to address impunity for sexual violence and to ensuring that such atrocities are never repeated. We will continue to monitor the situation in Guinea-Conakry and anywhere else that sexual violence may occur.

POTTAL-FII-BHANTAL FOUTAH-DJALLON USA: Massacre of September 28th, 2009. Three Years of Impunity!

MEMORANDUM OF POTTAL-FII-BHANTAL FOUTA-DJALlON

MASSACRE OF SEPTEMBER 28th, 2009.  THREE YEARS OF IMPUNITY!

Three years after the military junta-sponsored massacre at the opposition rally in Guinea in which victims were ethnically targeted, nearly 200 people were brutally murdered and at least 100 women were viciously raped in broad daylight, we are gathered here, at the United Nations Plaza, once again. We could easily read aloud the statement we produced last year because no progress has been made in holding accountable those who are accused of these crimes. This lack of progress is due to the impunity exercised within the government of Alpha Conde.

Much to the shock of Guineans and human rights groups, Mr. Conde protects and rewards the military officers accused of the crimes by appointing two of the primary perpetrators to his cabinet. Further, neither ECOWAS nor the Guinean government has taken a deposition from the primary mastermind of the massacre, Capt. Dadis Camara, now living in Burkina Faso. It is becoming more and more obvious that the Guinean government is determined not to prosecute the September 28 crimes. Given that Guinea has clearly demonstrated that it is unwilling and unable to prosecute the case, help from the international community is needed to get the case transferred to the International Criminal Court as soon as possible.

Justice delayed is justice denied. Justice for victims of the September 28 massacres is our primary goal. At the same time we must work to ensure that the people of Guinea never experience such a travesty again. While Mr. Alpha Conde was not at the helm when the September 28 massacre took place, his refusal to investigate and prosecute those responsible is only one example of the impunity with which he governs. This impunity, combined with undemocratic practices and ethnically-based policies, has resulted in illegal mass arrests, indefinite incarcerations, torture and extra-judicial killings. The dangers posed by Alpha Conde are on par to that of the military junta which committed the massacre.

The threat of genocide in Guinea is palpable. Genocide does not happen overnight. It builds up over a long period, with social exclusion, ethnic militia and paramilitary forces, political stalemate and pervasive corruption in a climate of economic hardships. All these conditions are at work in Guinea, silently gripping our country. No nations, no international institutions could claim ignorance about the ominous future that Guinea faces. Short of drastic and proactive measures, the country will continue its slide toward chaos, threatening, in the process, the stability of the whole West-Africa.

Today, we want to use this solemn occasion to put the Guinean government on notice that we WILL get justice for the victims and, in order to prevent another massacre, we will continue the pressure on Mr. Alpha Conde and his administration with intensity.

For the last 3 years, Pottal-Fii-Bhantal has worked relentlessly toward that end. Through our work, we have enjoyed tremendous support from Guinean citizens who, more than ever, are aware of the necessity of eradicating impunity if Guinea is to pull herself out of a legacy of totalitarian and military rule.

Today is an opportunity to remind all of us that there is no nobler fight than setting our country on the path of justice as a prerequisite for democracy. We are encouraged that Guinean citizens of all walks of life, ethnic backgrounds and political opinions are mobilized to honor the victims by pledging to never give up the fight to ensure that those responsible are prosecuted. We have been also honored by the benevolent support of activists, civil right leaders, civil servants of foreign governments as well as staff of international human rights and development agencies. We thank them from the bottom of our hearts in the name of the voiceless victims and their families in Guinea and around the world.

Pottal-Fii-Bhantal is calling on all segments of the Guinean population to mobilize in order avert the dangerous prospects hanging over our country. We encourage Guineans citizens to pursue all legal means of opposing a new dictatorship in our country. We are calling on the international community not look the other way, as it has done in last 50 years, while a tragedy is being prepared in our country. Given Guinea’s political legacy, the involvement of the international community is crucial for the country to be a true “emerging democracy”.

As we did last year, Pottal Fii-Bhantal is calling on all constituencies interested in building justice as a foundation for a genuine democracy in Guinea, to unite around the crucial program of fighting impunity and continue the pressures on the Guinean authorities.

To those who are living with the scars of the violence inflicted upon them, we are ensuring our unwavering support. We pray to All Mighty God to have mercy on the souls of those who have lost their lives for the emergence of democracy in Guinea.

Three years after the military junta-sponsored massacre at the opposition rally in Guinea in which victims were ethnically targeted, nearly 200 people were brutally murdered and at least 100 women were viciously raped in broad daylight, we are gathered here, at the United Nations Plaza, once again. We could easily read aloud the statement we produced last year because no progress has been made in holding accountable those who are accused of these crimes. This lack of progress is due to the impunity exercised within the government of Alpha Conde.

Much to the shock of Guineans and human rights groups, Mr. Conde protects and rewards the military officers accused of the crimes by appointing two of the primary perpetrators to his cabinet. Further, neither ECOWAS nor the Guinean government has taken a deposition from the primary mastermind of the massacre, Capt. Dadis Camara, now living in Burkina Faso. It is becoming more and more obvious that the Guinean government is determined not to prosecute the September 28 crimes. Given that Guinea has clearly demonstrated that it is unwilling and unable to prosecute the case, help from the international community is needed to get the case transferred to the International Criminal Court as soon as possible.

Justice delayed is justice denied. Justice for victims of the September 28 massacres is our primary goal. At the same time we must work to ensure that the people of Guinea never experience such a travesty again. While Mr. Alpha Conde was not at the helm when the September 28 massacre took place, his refusal to investigate and prosecute those responsible is only one example of the impunity with which he governs. This impunity, combined with undemocratic practices and ethnically-based policies, has resulted in illegal mass arrests, indefinite incarcerations, torture and extra-judicial killings. The dangers posed by Alpha Conde are on par to that of the military junta which committed the massacre.

The threat of genocide in Guinea is palpable. Genocide does not happen overnight. It builds up over a long period, with social exclusion, ethnic militia and paramilitary forces, political stalemate and pervasive corruption in a climate of economic hardships. All these conditions are at work in Guinea, silently gripping our country. No nations, no international institutions could claim ignorance about the ominous future that Guinea faces. Short of drastic and proactive measures, the country will continue its slide toward chaos, threatening, in the process, the stability of the whole West-Africa.

Today, we want to use this solemn occasion to put the Guinean government on notice that we WILL get justice for the victims and, in order to prevent another massacre, we will continue the pressure on Mr. Alpha Conde and his administration with intensity.

For the last 3 years, Pottal-Fii-Bhantal has worked relentlessly toward that end. Through our work, we have enjoyed tremendous support from Guinean citizens who, more than ever, are aware of the necessity of eradicating impunity if Guinea is to pull herself out of a legacy of totalitarian and military rule.

Today is an opportunity to remind all of us that there is no nobler fight than setting our country on the path of justice as a prerequisite for democracy. We are encouraged that Guinean citizens of all walks of life, ethnic backgrounds and political opinions are mobilized to honor the victims by pledging to never give up the fight to ensure that those responsible are prosecuted. We have been also honored by the benevolent support of activists, civil right leaders, civil servants of foreign governments as well as staff of international human rights and development agencies. We thank them from the bottom of our hearts in the name of the voiceless victims and their families in Guinea and around the world.

Pottal-Fii-Bhantal is calling on all segments of the Guinean population to mobilize in order avert the dangerous prospects hanging over our country. We encourage Guineans citizens to pursue all legal means of opposing a new dictatorship in our country. We are calling on the international community not look the other way, as it has done in last 50 years, while a tragedy is being prepared in our country. Given Guinea’s political legacy, the involvement of the international community is crucial for the country to be a true “emerging democracy”.

As we did last year, Pottal Fii-Bhantal is calling on all constituencies interested in building justice as a foundation for a genuine democracy in Guinea, to unite around the crucial program of fighting impunity and continue the pressures on the Guinean authorities.

To those who are living with the scars of the violence inflicted upon them, we are ensuring our unwavering support. We pray to All Mighty God to have mercy on the souls of those who have lost their lives for the emergence of democracy in Guinea.

Three years after the military junta-sponsored massacre at the opposition rally in Guinea in which victims were ethnically targeted, nearly 200 people were brutally murdered and at least 100 women were viciously raped in broad daylight, we are gathered here, at the United Nations Plaza, once again. We could easily read aloud the statement we produced last year because no progress has been made in holding accountable those who are accused of these crimes. This lack of progress is due to the impunity exercised within the government of Alpha Conde.

Much to the shock of Guineans and human rights groups, Mr. Conde protects and rewards the military officers accused of the crimes by appointing two of the primary perpetrators to his cabinet. Further, neither ECOWAS nor the Guinean government has taken a deposition from the primary mastermind of the massacre, Capt. Dadis Camara, now living in Burkina Faso. It is becoming more and more obvious that the Guinean government is determined not to prosecute the September 28 crimes. Given that Guinea has clearly demonstrated that it is unwilling and unable to prosecute the case, help from the international community is needed to get the case transferred to the International Criminal Court as soon as possible.

Justice delayed is justice denied. Justice for victims of the September 28 massacres is our primary goal. At the same time we must work to ensure that the people of Guinea never experience such a travesty again. While Mr. Alpha Conde was not at the helm when the September 28 massacre took place, his refusal to investigate and prosecute those responsible is only one example of the impunity with which he governs. This impunity, combined with undemocratic practices and ethnically-based policies, has resulted in illegal mass arrests, indefinite incarcerations, torture and extra-judicial killings. The dangers posed by Alpha Conde are on par to that of the military junta which committed the massacre.

The threat of genocide in Guinea is palpable. Genocide does not happen overnight. It builds up over a long period, with social exclusion, ethnic militia and paramilitary forces, political stalemate and pervasive corruption in a climate of economic hardships. All these conditions are at work in Guinea, silently gripping our country. No nations, no international institutions could claim ignorance about the ominous future that Guinea faces. Short of drastic and proactive measures, the country will continue its slide toward chaos, threatening, in the process, the stability of the whole West-Africa.

Today, we want to use this solemn occasion to put the Guinean government on notice that we WILL get justice for the victims and, in order to prevent another massacre, we will continue the pressure on Mr. Alpha Conde and his administration with intensity.

For the last 3 years, Pottal-Fii-Bhantal has worked relentlessly toward that end. Through our work, we have enjoyed tremendous support from Guinean citizens who, more than ever, are aware of the necessity of eradicating impunity if Guinea is to pull herself out of a legacy of totalitarian and military rule.

Today is an opportunity to remind all of us that there is no nobler fight than setting our country on the path of justice as a prerequisite for democracy. We are encouraged that Guinean citizens of all walks of life, ethnic backgrounds and political opinions are mobilized to honor the victims by pledging to never give up the fight to ensure that those responsible are prosecuted. We have been also honored by the benevolent support of activists, civil right leaders, civil servants of foreign governments as well as staff of international human rights and development agencies. We thank them from the bottom of our hearts in the name of the voiceless victims and their families in Guinea and around the world.

Pottal-Fii-Bhantal is calling on all segments of the Guinean population to mobilize in order avert the dangerous prospects hanging over our country. We encourage Guineans citizens to pursue all legal means of opposing a new dictatorship in our country. We are calling on the international community not look the other way, as it has done in last 50 years, while a tragedy is being prepared in our country. Given Guinea’s political legacy, the involvement of the international community is crucial for the country to be a true “emerging democracy”.

As we did last year, Pottal Fii-Bhantal is calling on all constituencies interested in building justice as a foundation for a genuine democracy in Guinea, to unite around the crucial program of fighting impunity and continue the pressures on the Guinean authorities.

To those who are living with the scars of the violence inflicted upon them, we are ensuring our unwavering support. We pray to All Mighty God to have mercy on the souls of those who have lost their lives for the emergence of democracy in Guinea.

The Board of Pottal-Fii-Bhantal Fouta-Djallon – USA

Declaration of the Crisis Committee on the Massacres in Zogota: These Are Crimes Against Humanity! Plus, Slideshow on Zogota

SLIDESHOW IS OF POOR QUALITY, BUT BETTER THAN NOTHING

Note that, at the end of this declaration, there is an announcement of a press conference scheduled for today, Thursday, by this group. The press conference took place and the Crisis Committee announced that it intends to file a complaint against the State of Guinea for its alleged role in the violence that erupted last week in N’Zerekore which led to five deaths and several wounded.

Declaration of the Crisis Committee on the massares in Zogota:  These are crimes against humanity

It is with indignation that we learned the news about the massacres of peaceful people sleeping at the time, in the village of Zoghota, N’Zérékoré Prefecture, Guinea. These barbaric acts of another age were perpetrated on the night of Friday 3 to Saturday, August 4, 2012 by forces of defense and security to the orders of the authorities of the Republic of Guinea.

The tally reveals five people shot dead, three seriously injured by bullets also, several missing, probably killed, and twenty victims arrested, tortured and held in place not identified.

Faced with the enormity of the loss of 4 August 2012, we start first by presenting our most heartfelt condolences to the bereaved and to all the people of Guinea. We pray for the repose of the souls of the dead and wish speedy recovery to those injured. We condemn the killings and then demand the immediate and unconditional release of arrested victims and the establishment of an independent commission of inquiry to shed light, any light, on this matter.

Attackers arriving in the middle of the night to implement a premeditated plan; inspired by a policy to force citizens to remain silent despite the violations of their rights in peacetime and that the victims were unarmed civilians.These massacres are not only a grave and flagrant violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Constitution Guinean May 2010, but especially crimes against humanity.

It should be noted that the demonstration on 31 July 2012 of the population against the Zoghota VALE Mining Company, which seems to have angered the authorities, is not the first one in the Republic of Guinea. Indeed, in September 2011, Kiniero populations, in the Prefecture of Kouroussa, demonstrated against the SOMAFO. In November 2011, Lola populations demonstrated against the Iron Mining Company of Guinea (SMFG). All these events have one common denominator: discrimination in the hiring process for those in the local population. The method used to resolve the crisis amicably in Kiniero in Kouroussa, are strangely in contrast to the barbaric and criminal acts committed against a peaceful and unarmed populations of Lola Zoghota. This provides sufficient evidence that the current government and its decentralized structures do not address the citizens on the same footing.

The outbreak of killings immediately after the site visit to the Vale Mining Company by five government ministers Said Fofana, their refusal to return to Zoghota to witness heinous crimes before returning to Conakry, their denial on local radio of the fact that residents were killed. Instead, their only concern was for damage to the infrastructure and facilities of the Vale Mining Company. Yet, there is sufficient evidence of the participation of defense forces and security in the killings which points to the direct responsibility of governments at the highest level.

Given the extreme gravity of the crimes committed, we demand the dismissal and arrest of the five ministers who carried out the mission Zoghota in the days immediately preceding the night of the killings as well as the Governor and the Prefect of N ‘ Zérékoré, the Sub-Prefect of Kobela and the hierarchy of uniformed (military, gendarmes and police officers) who participated in the massacres.

We invite all those peace-loving and justice to remain mobilized until the establishment of justice for victims and their families.

After the sentencing phase current, keep in mind the need for all Guineansl who dream of a united Guinea, that is peaceful and prosperous, should break the silence and hold the conviction that the perpetrators of these heinous crimes and their accomplices will be dealt with by national or international justice. A panel of lawyers has been formed, a crisis committee is already operational and the mission at the site of massacres is in preparation.

A press conference is scheduled for tomorrow Thursday, August 9, 2012 at the Maison de la Presse. For information, contact Daniel at Kolié 64885025 or 64592833 to Aly Amadou Diallo or Aboubacar Camara 64418490.

Let us not yield to division because it has always been used by dictators and, above all, it benefits them.

For the Crisis Committee, Faya L. Millimouno