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

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Guinean Military Continues With Its 9-28-09 Modus Operandi: Murder, Rape and Mayhem Against Fellow Citizens

guineaguns

Source:  HUFFINGTON POST

Witnesses: 3 killed, others raped by Guinea army

CONAKRY, Guinea — A military crackdown on protesters in a remote Guinean town this week left three people dead and dozens more wounded, while at least three women were raped by soldiers, witnesses alleged Thursday. A defense official denied soldiers shot civilians, but the incident still added to concerns about Guinea’s army, which already has been implicated in a massacre and systematic rape in a country struggling to transition to democracy.
The crackdown occurred in the town of Gueckedou, located 700 kilometers (430 miles) southeast of Guinea’s capital, Conakry. Thousands of demonstrators there were calling for the resignation of a top regional official, and the army trucked in soldiers to disperse the protesters Tuesday.
Witnesses said the army opened fire first with tear gas, then with live rounds.
“I can confirm that three bodies were logged into the register at the prefecture’s hospital in Gueckedou. The bodies have been buried. The wounded are still arriving. Some with stab wounds. Some with bullet wounds,” said Sayon Teliano, a local health worker who was called to the hospital to help. Speaking Thursday, with soldiers still in the town, Teliano said the forensic report found that the three people who died were struck by bullets.
Retired army Col. Kamano Faro, who resides in Gueckedou, said the army used the protest as a pretext to brutalize the town. He said along with the three dead, at least 103 people were hurt, and dozens of boutiques and stores were pillaged.
“The army brought terror to our town,” Faro said. “In the neighborhood of Nongo, I saw soldiers going into people’s houses and breaking things. “I saw them grab the pots off of people’s fires, and eat the rice and the sauce that was inside. I know a pork seller, who was robbed of all his money. They even took his pig, and slaughtered it (to eat).”

Guinea, a nation of 10.2 million, spent much of its post-independence history under various types of military rule, starting with a 1984 coup by an army colonel, Lansana Conte. He died in office in 2008; hours later an army captain seized power.

 
In 2009, when tens of thousands of demonstrators crowded into the national soccer stadium in Conakry to demand the army relinquish control, the captain’s elite red beret-wearing guard sealed the gates to the stadium. They then opened fire with machine guns, mowing down the protesters – killing at least 157.
Women were also dragged onto the stadium turf, into the stands, under bleachers, and in neighboring structures and gang-raped by officers who stuffed their red berets into their mouths to silence them, a scene shocking even for this troubled region of Africa.
Rape was allegedly another tactic used by the armed forces during this week’s crackdown.

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

Pottal-Fii-Bhantal Fouta Djallon Organizes Sept. 28 NY March of Remembrnce and Protest on Third Anniversary of the State-Sponsored Massacre of Guinean Opposition Supporters

SEPT. 28, 2009:  Two women search desperately for news of loved ones who attended the opposition rally at the Sept. 28 stadium where state-sponsored security forces attacked participants.  Many relatives did find their loved ones — at the morgue.  In addition, over 100 women were brutally raped by security forces which specifically targeted them because of their Peul ethnicity.

New York, September 17th, 2012

Pottal-Fii-Bhantal Fouta Djallon has organized a march of remembrance and protest to be held on Friday, September 28, 2012 in New York. The march will begin at 10:00 am at the diplomatic representation of Guinea and end at the United Nations – Plaza of Nations.

On 28 September 2009, security forces in the Republic of Guinea-Conakry shocked the world by despicable acts of rape of over 80 women and the killing of more than 150 people in broad daylight. Since the massacre, the political climate in Guinea has deteriorated due to the impunity enjoyed by the agents of the security forces suspected of committing these crimes.

Pottal Fii-Bhantal Fouta Djallon is an advocacy group that works for the defense of human rights in Guinea. One of the objectives of the march is raising awareness of international organizations within the United Nations regarding the danger of repeated violations of human rights in Guinea and the climate of impunity maintained by the government after the last presidential election. The inauguration of President Alpha Condé of Guinea was supposed to pave the way for democracy. This hope has been ruined today because of the Government’s refusal to continue the investigation of crimes against humanity, its open support of the perpetrators of these crimes and its continuous and deliberate attacks by state security forces against political opponents, media, specific ethnic groups and regular citizens.

Another objective of the march is to send a clear message to international development and human rights organizations about the role that should be theirs to avoid political chaos in Guinea. Policies of ethnic exclusion and the Government’s provocative measures have the potential to destabilize Guinea; this will have dangerous consequences for the population and sub-region of West Africa, which is struggling to recover from wars in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Cote d’Ivoire.

For more information on the human rights situation in Guinea consult Human Rights Watch report, “Bloody Monday”, massacre on 28 September 2009 by the security forces of the government www.hrw.org/node/87190.

The website JUSTICE IN GUINEA, http://www.justiceinguinea.org and website of Pottal-Fii-Bhantal Fouta Djallon, www.pottalfiibhantal.org provide information on violations of human rights, repression and ongoing actions to bring justice to the people of Guinea.

Press Liaisons:

  • Aissatou Bah: 240-632-1187
  • Abdourahmane Barry : 484-614-4542
  • Aissatou Bobo Diallo: 646-750-1411

Protesters Demand Int’l. Criminal Court Probe 2009 Guinea Killings

“The office of ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo opened a ‘preliminary examination’ into the violence in October 2009, but has yet to open a formal investigation.”

Given the international community’s involvement in “steering” this case at the ICC, it is far more likely that in the beginning, the September 28, 2009 massacre case was a “formal investigation” and was “demoted” to a “preliminary examination”  when it became too hot to prosecute.  For more information about international influence on this case: 

“Preventive Diplomacy:” The International Community’s Betrayal of the People of Guinea

Wed Sep 28, 2011 5:12pm GMT

By Aaron Gray-Block

THE HAGUE (Reuters) – A group of West Africans urged the world’s top war crimes court on Wednesday to investigate the killing of more than 150 people during political violence in Guinea in September 2009.

The rape and killing of pro-democracy protesters in Guinea came close to plunging the West African nation, the world’s biggest bauxite exporter, into chaos before junta leader Moussa Dadis Camara fled abroad.

A U.N. report in December 2009 blamed Camara for the “systematic” and “organised” killings at the opposition rally and called on the ICC to investigate what it said could be crimes against humanity.

Guinea has since completed a transition to civilian leadership after years of military rule, and shortly after the bloodshed the new Conakry government promised to prosecute the those responsible for the violence.

“Two years later no one has been held to account,” said Daniel Bekele, Africa director at Human Rights Watch, as he called on the government to do more to ensure justice.

“The Guinean government should learn from the country’s recurring cycles of violence that stability will not last if justice is swept under the rug.”

Mamadou Jallow, president of an association of West African people in the Netherlands, told Reuters he presented a petition and evidence to ICC prosecutors calling for an investigation.

“Those people who orchestrated the massacre have still not been brought to book. Some of them have been appointed to higher posts now. We are demanding the International Criminal Court take up the matter,” Jallow said outside the court.

The petition was lodged while a group of West Africans, some

wearing shirts saying ‘We want justice,’ protested outside the court in The Hague, which is already investigating Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi for crimes against humanity.

A spokesman for the prosecutor’s office confirmed that a “notification along with a petition” had been lodged by a Guinean delegation, but declined comment.

Guinea ratified the ICC’s founding treaty in 2003, giving the court jurisdiction over its territory.

The office of ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo opened a ‘preliminary examination’ into the violence in October 2009, but has yet to open a formal investigation.

Moreno-Ocampo’s office has opened 11 preliminary examinations into conflicts in countries from South America to Africa and has opened formal investigations into six conflicts, all of them in Africa.