Amnesty International slams Guinean President for using excessive force against opposition supporters


The use of excessive force by Guinean security force in the weeks following a presidential election left 16 people dead, including a 62-year-old man, presumably from torture, an international human rights body said on Tuesday.

The security forces also arrested hundreds during protests while the police carried out security swoop on pro-opposition neighbourhoods, Amnesty International said.

President Alpha Condé was re-elected on 18 October for a controversial third term and was sworn in on Tuesday.

Amnesty International said it gathered new evidence, including testimonies from families of victims, analysis and authentication of images, and a count done with hospitals of the number of people killed, of the repression of demonstrations and dissenting voices from 19 October to early December.

“President Alpha Condé’s swearing in is the culmination of a contested electoral process marred by serious and widespread human rights violations in Guinea,” said Fabien Offner, Amnesty International researcher for West Africa.

The London-based rights body said the violence in Guinea was carried out with complete impunity over more than a year.

“Before, during and immediately after the election, people were killed and injured by the defence and security forces, and despite regular announcements of investigations there have so far been no convictions,” Offner said.

Amnesty International said President Condé should seize the opportunity of his re-election to break with the country’s repressive past.

“All suspected killings of protesters and others resulting from the excessive and unlawful use of force, and those of police officers must be investigated, and perpetrators brought to justice,” Offner said.

Following the presidential election, protests, some of which were violent, erupted to contest the results.

The defence and security forces responded to the protests by using excessive force when carrying out operations in some neighbourhoods which resulted in deaths, the rights body said.

According to the judicial authorities, during the days following the presidential election, 20 dead bodies were handed to the forensic medicine department at Ignace Deen Hospital in Conakry “for autopsy”, following the post-electoral violence.

According to the Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea (UFDG, an opposition party) there were 46 “victims of targeted assassinations” between 19 October and 3 November.

At least 16 people were shot dead between 18 and 24 October, according to a count made by Amnesty International.

Amnesty International says it has documented acts of violence by the defence and security forces against residents of neighbourhoods that favor the opposition in the capital.

“Authorities’ virulent statements about perceived dissenting neighbourhoods in Conakry have intensified since Alpha Condé’s election. This worrying verbal escalation, coincided with serious human rights violations committed by security forces,” said Fabien Offner.

“Nothing could justify security operations that look like punitive expeditions carried out against the inhabitants of an entire neighbourhood. The use of firearms by police is only allowed under international law to protect themselves or others from imminent danger of death or serious injury.” (PANA/NAN)

– Dec. 16, 2020 @ 18:38 GMT |

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