Amnesty Worldwide accuses Guinea of post-election crackdown | Guinea
The UK-based rights group said Guinean security forces fired live rounds of protesters during the post-election riot that killed at least 10 people.
Amnesty International said security forces in Guinea fired live rounds at protesters during the post-election riots that killed at least 10 people in the unstable West African nation.
In a statement on Sunday, the UK-based rights group said testimony and video analysis confirmed demonstrators were being targeted.
Amnesty also condemned internet disruption during the deadly violence.
The 82-year-old President Alpha Conde won a controversial third presidential term with 59.49 percent of the vote, which has to be confirmed by the Constitutional Court, the Guinean election commission announced on Saturday.
But the country’s leading opposition politician, Cellou Dalein Diallo, has denied the result and won himself the day after the controversial poll of October 18.
He said he had evidence of fraud and planned to file a complaint with the Constitutional Court.
Diallo’s claim to victory sparked clashes between his supporters and security forces across the country.
The opposition puts the week-long death toll at 27 – a figure that cannot be independently verified at this time.
Amnesty said it was still analyzing information, but added that based on information already gathered, combined with local news reports, “dozens of people may have been killed”.
In a video about the recent riots in the capital, Conakry, the group said a security officer shot people at close range, “without any apparent threat to his life [and] in violation of international regulations on the use of firearms by armed forces ”.
Amnesty also analyzed images from the northern Labe region – a Diallo fortress – showing cartridge cases from AK-47 assault rifles.
The Guinean security forces stationed in the region often carry such rifles, although the government denies this.
“The authorities must stop the use of firearms,” Fabien Offner, an Amnesty researcher, said in the statement.
“If criminal fault is found, the suspects must be brought to justice through fair trial in civil courts,” he said.
Guinea’s government was not immediately available for comment.
“Attack on freedom of expression”
Separately, on Friday and Saturday, Amnesty also criticized Internet and telephone line cuts, calling them a “frontal attack on freedom of expression.”
“This new stalemate in various means of communication represents an attack on freedom of expression and an attempt to silence protesters, human rights defenders, journalists and bloggers,” said Offner.
“The authorities must immediately lift the suspension of the Guinéematin.com news website and restrictions on internet and social media access so that everyone can speak freely and journalists can do their jobs.”
A former opposition activist, Conde became Guinea’s first democratically elected president in 2010 and won re-election in 2015.
However, critics accuse him of leaning towards authoritarianism.
In March, the eighty-year-old president passed a new constitution that he said would modernize the country.
It also allowed him to bypass a two-term presidential term, which led to mass protests from October 2019 in which security forces killed dozens of people.
Before taking office, Conde was a longtime opposition figure who was imprisoned and exiled for his views against the Guinean military government.
Diallo is a former prime minister who also finished second for Conde in the 2010 and 2015 elections.