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Guinea: International inquiry needed into Conakry killings and rapes

Amnesty International has called for an international commission of inquiry to investigate mounting reports of deliberate killings, rape and other human rights abuses by security forces in Conakry, Guinea this week.

The organisation also called for an immediate halt to all supplies of security and police equipment that could be used to commit serious human rights violations until the Guinean government has taken practical steps to prevent further violations by the security forces and has brought to justice those responsible for these acts.

Amnesty revealed fresh details of brutal attacks by security forces during the suppression of a mass rally in Conakry on 28 September in Conakry, including reports indicating orchestration by the Guinean army. Several witnesses reported the presence of a government minister among the security forces.

Amnesty International Africa Programme Director Erwin van der Borght said:

“The perpetrators of these brutal attacks must be identified and brought to justice.

“This can only be achieved through an international inquiry as the Guinean authorities have already been discredited by their lack of political will to carry out a national investigation into accusations of human rights violations by security forces in 2007.”

According to several eyewitness statements gathered by Amnesty, the attacks were organised by army officers. Witnesses said that several members of the presidential guard were present and supervised the attacks. One told Amnesty that these officers “pointed their fingers at the demonstrators and cried ‘shoot them’.”

Eyewitnesses have told Amnesty that several Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights were publicly raped by soldiers, including by “red berets” - the Presidential Guard. One of the demonstrators told Amnesty: “The soldiers ripped the skirts off the Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights, leaving them naked. They hit them with truncheons and Kalashnikovs. I saw two soldiers throw a woman on to the ground and publicly rape her in view of the demonstrators. I was afraid. I saw a soldier rape a naked woman with his truncheon.” Another witness added that he saw a soldier pouring beer on a woman the soldier had just raped.

Another witness told Amnesty: “A young person, aged about 18, wearing a Lacoste t-shirt and blue jeans fell, other people trampled him underfoot, he tried to get up, he hit the ground and moved his head. A soldier asked for him to be ’finished off’ and another soldier took out a dagger and cut his throat.”

And another demonstrator said: “The crowd had already entered the stadium. People were assembled on the steps. Soldiers including ‘red berets’, gendarmes and police officers surrounded the stadium, then small groups of the security forces entered the stadium. They threw tear-gas grenades and, hardly ten minutes later, they fired live rounds at the demonstrators, aiming initially at those right in front of them on the pitch.”

Amnesty has also learned that some people, including Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights, were arrested during the demonstration and are still being held by the security forces. The organisation is concerned that these detainees may by subjected to ill-treatment.

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