Pro-democracy activist gets jail sentence

Saikou Yaya Diallo graphic
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The National Front for the Defence of the Constitution is a coalition of non-governmental groups and opposition parties which boycotted the referendum on March 2020. Since October 2019, the FNDC has been organizing protests against the government’s planned constitutional change. The new constitution reset presidential term limits, allowing President Alpha Condé to be elected for a third term.

On 25 March, a suspected government intelligence agent, claiming to be a journalist, was identified during a FNDC press conference at PADES (Parti des Démocrates pour l'Espoir in French) party headquarters in Ratoma by FNDC members. FNDC members, including Saïkou Yaya Diallo, secured the suspected government intelligence agent in an office and questioned her on why she was there and who had sent her. Saïkou Yaya Diallo called a bailiff to establish the presence of the intelligence agent. FNDC members said that she would be released after the press conference to avoid the crowds outside, fearing that she would be lynched by opposition activists in retaliation to the killing of 12 people by security forces following controversial elections in the week before. The police subsequently raided the headquarters of the PADES and arrested 11 individuals, including Saïkou Yaya Diallo.

The Presidential election was held on 18 October and was marred by controversy. On 19 October, the president’s main opposition candidate Cellou Dalein Diallo, declared himself the winner. The Independent National Electoral Commission (Céni) however declared President Alpha Condé the winner on 24 October. The result led to clashes between security forces and protesters which resulted in dozens of people being killed since 18 October. On 10 November, prosecutor of Dixinn Sidy, Souleymane Ndiaye announced the arrest of nearly 80 people in connection with the post-election demonstrations with several activists and members of the opposition arrested for ‘’threats likely to disturb the security and public order ''.

In its report, ‘’Marching to their death. Justice for victims of crackdown on demonstrations in Guinea’, published 1 October 2020, Amnesty International documented at least 70 arbitrary arrests in Guinea from October 2019 to July 2020 for only exercising their right to freedom of assembly and expression. At least 50 people were killed by police and army members during the same period during protests.

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