Aerial view of Ouagadougou.

Burkina Faso: Authorities must immediately release Guy Hervé Kam and Lt-Colonel Zoungrana

Responding to the arrests of lawyer Guy Hervé Kam on 29 May 2024, a few hours after his release, and of Lieutenant-Colonel Emmanuel Zoungrana earlier on the same day, a week after a court ordered his provisional release, Samira Daoud, Regional Director for West and Central Africa at Amnesty International, said:

“We condemn the arbitrary detention of Me Guy Hervé Kam. Guy Hervé Kam was arrested and transferred to the custody of the gendarmerie on 29 May, and then remanded into a military prison, on new charges of conspiracy against the state. We believe the accusations against him are unfounded and call for his immediate and unconditional release.”

“We also condemn the enforced disappearance on the same day of Lieutenant-Colonel Zoungrana, who was forced to follow armed men, suspected to be agents of the Intelligence services, while he was being driven to his home in Pabré.. He has not been seen since. We call on the authorities to immediately release information about his whereabouts and his fate, and if he is arbitrarily and secretly detained, to release him immediately.”

“These two arbitrary arrests happened shortly after courts ordered to release or provisionally release them. Amnesty International is concerned by the lack of enforcement of judicial decisions and the continuation of arbitrary arrests of civil society members for the past year in Burkina Faso.”


Guy Hervé Kam, a lawyer and co-founder of the civil society movement Balai Citoyen, has been accused with undermining state security. He was arrested on 24 January 2024 and held incommunicado. On 18 April 2024, the Ouagadougou administrative Court of Appeal ordered his release. On 29 May, while he was finally freed near his home, he was arrested by state security forces.

Lieutenant-Colonel Zoungrana, former commander of the 12th infantry commando regiment of Ouahigouya, was arrested in December 2021 and is accused of plotting against state security. Provisionally released in December 2022, he was re-arrested 13 days later. On 22 May 2024, the Ouagadougou military court ordered his provisional release.