The rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly were violated. Members of civil society who expressed criticism over the political transitional period were arbitrarily arrested and detained. Protesters were killed during protests by members of the defence and security forces. The trial about the 28 September 2009 massacre opened, 13 years after the events. Victims of sexual violence continued to be denied appropriate medical and psychological care and faced obstacles to justice.
In October, the National Committee of the Rally for Development (CNRD) – which took power in a coup on 5 September 2021 – agreed with ECOWAS a two-year transition for the restoration of the constitutional order. However, the start date of this transition was subject to debate.
Freedom of expression, association and assembly
The authorities violated the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly. On 13 May the CNRD announced a ban on “all demonstrations on the public highway likely to compromise social peace and the proper execution of the activities contained in the timetable… for the time being until the election campaign periods”.1
On 8 August, the transitional authorities dissolved the National Front for the Defence of the Constitution (FNDC), a coalition of civil society organizations and political parties demanding the return to constitutional order. On 15 August, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights stated that “such a measure constitutes a serious infringement of the rights to freedom of association and peaceful assembly” and asked the authorities to reverse this decision.
Arbitrary arrests and detentions
On 5 July, three FNDC leaders, Oumar Sylla, Mamadou Billo Bah and Djanii Alfa, were arrested by the police while holding a press conference at their headquarters in the capital, Conakry. After being accused of “public insults, contempt of court, and disturbance of public order and public security” and detained in Conakry prison, they were released without charge on 8 July.
On 29 July, legal proceedings were launched against the organizers and participants of a banned march on 28 July during which violence erupted and five people were killed. The following day, FNDC leaders Oumar Sylla and Ibrahima Diallo, and the secretary general of the Union of Republican Forces, Saïkou Yaya Barry, were arrested, then charged on 1 August for “alleged acts of unlawful demonstration, destruction of public and private buildings, provoking a mob, assault and battery, criminal association, obstruction of freedom of movement and complicity”. Saïkou Yaya Barry was provisionally released on 12 October after his health deteriorated while Oumar Sylla and Ibrahima Diallo remained in detention at Conakry prison at the end of the year. Both started a hunger strike in November to demand a trial.
On 1 June, 19-year-old Thierno Mamadou Diallo was killed by security forces in Conakry during a protest against fuel price increases. The public prosecutor’s office announced on 13 June the indictment and detention of a police officer for alleged murder and the indictment of four other members of the defence and security forces for alleged “criminal abstention”.
In July, August and October, 13 people were shot dead by alleged members of the defence and security forces during protests to call for the return to constitutional order, according to reports from civil society and human rights organizations. Following announcements by the Ministry of Justice of the opening of investigations into these facts, no new information was available as of December.
On 6 September in Kondiaran, Kankan region, two people were shot dead during violent protests against a mining company accused of not doing enough to improve local living conditions. The Ministry of Justice again announced an investigation into this event, with no new information available as of December.
On 17 September, the minister of justice and human rights ordered legal proceedings for “voluntary manslaughter” against a police commander, and for “complicity in voluntary manslaughter” against 10 other police officers, after a shopkeeper in the Kipé district in Conakry was shot dead on 17 September during an anti-drug operation.
In a memo to the heads of courts and prosecution offices on 24 June, the minister of justice and human rights deplored “horrible realities, particularly within the courts and prisons”, constituting violations of the UN Nelson Mandela Rules on the treatment of prisoners. Among other things, he highlighted “29 cases of severe malnutrition and nine mental illnesses” in one prison, insufficient and poor-quality food and water, and “skeletal, paralysed or even dying” prisoners.
Right to truth, justice and reparation
On 4 May the General Prosecutor of the Conakry Court of Appeal announced legal proceedings against former president Alpha Condé and 26 other people who held power during his presidency, for various alleged acts including “wilful attacks on human life, in particular murder, assassination and complicity in murder and assassination”, committed in the context of the referendum and presidential elections in 2020.
On 28 September, the trial of those accused of the 28 September 2009 massacre, during which more than 150 demonstrators were killed and more than 100 women were victims of sexual violence, finally opened. As a consequence, the Prosecutor of the ICC closed its 13-year preliminary examination into Guinea.
Violence against women and girls
Victims of rape continued to experience lack of protection, access to and availability of medical care, sexual and reproductive health services, psychological support and legal and social support. Despite frequent awareness-raising campaigns, the government failed to prevent the crime, while “socio-cultural pressures” continued to weigh heavily on victims and their families, who were often forced into silence, extrajudicial settlements in cases of rape or stigmatization.2
The Guinean authorities and NGOs reported serious pollution and risks of environmental damage and human rights violations as a result of mining activities in several regions.
On 31 January, Prime Minister Béavogui visited the town of Fria, Kindia region, to assess the socio-economic situation of workers and the reported pollution in the town, where the Russian bauxite mining company Rusal was operating. Following the visit, the prime minister instructed Rusal’s management to comply with international pollution control standards by 1 May.