Following yesterday’s military coup in Guinea, in which soldiers from the National Committee for Reconciliation and Development (CNRD) seized power and detained President Alpha Condé, Amnesty International’s West and Central Africa Director Samira Daoud said:
“We call on CNRD leaders to protect and guarantee the human rights of Guinea’s entire population, which has suffered years of violations and repression.
“Many political opponents and protesters were arrested before and after last October’s presidential election. All those arbitrarily detained must be released.
We call on CNRD leaders to protect and guarantee the human rights of Guinea’s entire population, which has suffered years of violations and repression.Samira Daoud
“Coup leaders must also clarify on which legal basis they are detaining President Alpha Condé. He must either be charged with a recognizable criminal offense or be immediately released.”
Heavy gunfire broke out around the presidential palace in Conakry on the morning of 5 September 2021. CNRD soldiers, led by Lt Col. Mamady Doumbouya, arrested President Alpha Condé and appeared on national television to announce the coup.
Doumbouya later stated that President Condé “is in a safe place and has seen a doctor”. Coup leaders also dissolved Guinea’s constitution, suspended all institutions including the government, ordered a curfew, and closed all borders.
President Alpha Condé has been in power since December 2010. During his rule, a raft of human rights violations has been committed, including bans on peaceful assemblies, Internet shutdown, use of excessive force resulting in protesters being killed and injured, and scores of arbitrary arrests of opposition and civil society activists.
In a 2020 report, Amnesty International documented the killing of at least 50 people during demonstrations against the constitutional reform initiated and implemented by the authorities in 2019 and 2020. Nearly 200 other people were injured, and opponents have been arbitrarily arrested and detained, simply for having exercised their right to freedom of expression or peaceful assembly.
In another 2019 report, Amnesty International documented the killing during protests of 70 protesters and bystanders and at least three members of the security forces, between January 2015 and October 2019.