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Guinea unrest: Authorities must stop unlawful arrests and killings

Amnesty International is calling on the Guinean authorities to stop a series of unlawful killings, arbitrary arrests and torture as part of a post-election crackdown that has resulted in several deaths and more than 50 people arbitrarily detained.

The Guinean authorities declared a state of emergency on Wednesday 17 November, three days after the Independent Electoral National Commission proclaimed Alpha Condé as the winner of the poll.

As part of the state of emergency, a curfew has been imposed and the security forces have been granted extra powers.

Amnesty International’s Guinea Researcher Gaetan Mootoo said:

“Unless the Guinean authorities put an immediate stop to the unlawful killings, arbitrary arrests and excessive use of force by its military and police, there is a risk that the country will be plunged into a situation which could give rise to further, serious, human rights abuses.

“Transferring responsibility for the maintenance of law and order to the security forces is likely to further aggravate a situation that is already extremely worrying. In the past two decades the military and the police have repeatedly fired live bullets at unarmed demonstrators.”

The organisation also calls on the authorities to set up an independent enquiry into the crackdown.

 According to media reports, the state of emergency will remain in force until the election results are confirmed by the Supreme Court expected next Monday 922 November).

Several witnesses have told Amnesty International that the security forces, including members of the military, used their firearms against unarmed demonstrators, including minors.

Doctors told Amnesty International that the dead bodies they examined showed that “people had been hit in the head, the abdomen, the thorax and the back of the head” showing that security forces sought to kill rather than simply disperse demonstrators.   

The number of people who have been killed has not been made public.

Amnesty International has obtained information about the the following cases:
-    18 year old Mamadou Macka Diallo, a student in the capital, Conakry, “was killed by a policeman”, according to witnesses.
-     16-year-old student Abdoulaye Ba, was killed while entering his home in Koza.
-    29-year-old docker Abdoulaye Boubacar Diallo was killed while he was running away.
-    32-year-old Ibrahima Diallo was killed in Koloma.
-    Boumama Sacko, killed in Labé by a straw bullet while cleaning a car.

The people who are detained face a high risk of torture or other ill-treatment. Amnesty International has been told that 15 people arrested and held at the Dixinn police station, Conakry have been beaten.

According to an eyewitness a police officer put his two fingers in the eyes of one detainee.

Gaetan Mootoo added:

“The Guinean authorities must issue strict orders to the security forces to ensure that the human rights of all those who have been arrested are respected.

“Under international law, certain fundamental rights cannot be suspended and must always be respected, whether or not a state of emergency has been declared including the right to life and freedom from torture.”

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