Fatal crackdowns and imprisonement

A deadly run up to the election followed by post-election reprisals

The contested 18 October 2020 Presidential elections in Guinea gave way to crushing repression against political opponents and activists. In the week that followed the vote, some violent protests erupted to contest the election results. Security forces responded to the protests and subsequently at least 16 people were shot dead.

This was not the first instance of violent and occasionally fatal response on the part of security forces. In the months leading up to the 2020 Presidential election, between October 2019 and July 2020, at least 50 people were killed while over 200 people were injured.

On top of the violence, a wave of mass arrests of opposition leaders, activists, and members of civil society has swept through the country. At least 400 people have been arrested while at least 4 people have died in custody.


Pro-democracy activist Oumar Sylla alias Fonike Mengue, Souleymane Conde, and Thierno Sadou Diallo are arbitrarily detained in Guinea. Their detention is part of a wave of mass arrests of opposition leaders, activists, and members of civil society. Call for their immediate and unconditional release.

Oumar Sylla, known as Fonike Mengue, one of the key people in the National Front for the Defence of the Constitution (FNDC), was arrested in Conakry on 29 September 2020, while he was campaigning against the candidacy of President Alpha Conde for the presidential election. After four months in pre-trial detention, he was sentenced to 11 months in prison on 28 January for “participation in a banned gathering likely to disturb public order”.

Souleymane Conde, a former FNDC coordinator in the United States, was sentenced to one year in prison and fined 20 million Guinean francs (1,500 euros). He was arrested on 12 September 2019 for “producing, disseminating and making available to others data likely to disturb public order and security”. Souleymane Conde had published videos denouncing corruption, ethnocentrism, and President Alpha Conde’s third term in office.

Thierno Sadou Diallo, coordinator of the FNDC in Tougue (Labe region, in the north of the country), has been in detention since 14 April 2020. He was arrested and beaten by police officers at his home when he was ill and receiving perfusion. His two requests for provisional release on health grounds were refused, even though he was due to undergo surgery due to an umbilical infection.

Join our supporters and members to demand the immediate release of Oumar Sylla, Souleymane Conde, and Thierno Sadou Diallo.

Send an email to Guinean authorities to demand that the freedom of expression is respected.

It is time to end the harassment, intimidation, and arbitrary arrests of members of civil society and others who have done nothing but exercise their right to freedom of expression peacefully.