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At Least 50 People Killed With Impunity During Protests in Less Than a Year in Guinea: Amnesty International

  • Defence and security forces responsible for unlawful killings
  • Victims shot and wounded go into hiding for fear of reprisals
  • Bodies of some killed during protests turned away from public morgues

The crackdown on protests in Guinea, including those against a change in the constitution allowing President Alpha Condé to seek a third term, has resulted in the deaths of at least 50 people in less than a year, Amnesty International said in a new report published today, two weeks ahead of the country’s presidential election.

The report, ‘Marching to their deaths: Justice for victims of crackdown on demonstrations in Guinea’documents the responsibility of the defence and security forces, sometimes in league with groups of young counter-demonstrators, for the unlawful killings of protesters and bystanders between October 2019 and July 2020.

It also outlines injuries sustained by 200 people and the arbitrary detention of more than 70 others, some of whom were held incommunicado over the same period. Several of those shot and wounded have fled their homes for fear of reprisals. Hospital authorities have also refused to admit to hospitals victims shot dead during some demonstrations.

We spoke to devastated families who described how their children lost their lives, shot in the back, chest, head or neck. We have seen injuries to arms, knees and feet caused by firearms, tear gas canisters and even the security forces’ vehicles.”

Samira Daoud
West And Central Africa Regional Director At Amnesty International

“We spoke to devastated families who described how their children lost their lives, shot in the back, chest, head or neck. We have seen injuries to arms, knees and feet caused by firearms, tear gas canisters and even the security forces’ vehicles,” said Samira Daoud, West and Central Africa Regional Director at Amnesty International.

“Exercising the right to freedom of peaceful assembly remains dangerous in Guinea, where impunity for human rights violations has remained the rule for the past decade. Concrete actions are required from the authorities to bring justice to the victims and their families.”

Based on interviews with more than 100 individuals and analyses of official documents, videos and photographs, the report provides evidence that the authorities have acted in contravention of national and international standards. The security and defence forces have illegally used firearms in several towns of the country.

Between October 2019 and February 2020, more than 30 people were killed during protests against the change in the constitution. Of these, 11 were shot and killed by bullets to the head, chest or abdomen.

The day of the referendum on constitutional change which the opposition boycotted – 22 March 2020 – was particularly deadly, with at least 12 demonstrators killed, nine of them by gunfire.

Amnesty International has received testimonies and authenticated photographs and videos that confirm the involvement that day of groups of young counter-demonstrators alongside the security forces.

The gendarmes shot at one of the youths who Alpha Oumar came to save when he was shot in the leg. The demonstrators came to beat him up and he died not long after.”

A Member Of Alpha Oumar Diallo,a member of Taxi Driver’s Family

Alpha Oumar Diallo, a 18-year-old motorcycle taxi driver was shot on 22 March and beaten to death by counter-demonstrators in the capital Conakry. A member of his family said: “The gendarmes shot at one of the youths who Alpha Oumar came to save when he was shot in the leg. The demonstrators came to beat him up and he died not long after.”

Between April and July 2020, seven people were killed during demonstrations demanding better electricity supply, and during protests against the way the cordon sanitaire was being managed amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dozens with firearms wounds

Amnesty International documented dozens of cases of protesters being shot and wounded. For example, at least 15 people were injured during the October and November 2019 protests, eight of them by firearms, according to the organization’s interviews with victims and medical staff.

A 29-year-old mason was left paraplegic on 14 October 2019 after being hit by a bullet that entered through his neck and exited through his back.

He told Amnesty International:

“We were marching towards the gendarmes, who were wearing protective helmets. One of them, who was hooded, fired at us. He shot at my friend who died on the spot, and then he fired at me. He was concealed, I couldn’t see him… I am asking the authorities to take care of me so that I can recover my health and walk again. I can’t sleep for the pain.”

The security forces have, on occasion, injured people by ramming them with vehicles, or by throwing tear grenades at them. A man died of his injuries a few days after being run over by a police vehicle on 22 March 2020.

“He was running when he was hit by the police vehicle. His feet and his head were crushed… He undertook surgery but he lost a lot of blood and didn’t survive,” said one witness.

On 22 March 2020, the bodies of some of those who died during the demonstrations were taken to the public hospital morgues by relatives or bystanders but were turned away. 

There are credible reports that the authorities prevented the bodies of victims from entering the hospitals without the presence of a judicial police officer,” Samira Daoud said.

“The rejection of these bodies by public hospitals means that the victims are not included in the government’s death toll. As a result, the families have not obtained death certificates and no autopsies have been conducted to enable a judicial inquiry.”

Almost none of the investigations have been followed up

The authorities have often announced the opening of investigations into cases of people killed during demonstrations. Virtually none of these are ever followed up, however, in violation of the victims’ and families’ right to justice.

Threats, fear of reprisals and a lack of confidence in the justice system have led victims or their relatives to go into hiding and not to file complaints. Only one of the families of the 12 people killed on 21 and 22 March 2020 told Amnesty International that they had filed a complaint.

Ban on demonstrations

The report also highlights numerous violations of the right to freedom of peaceful assembly. At least 10 bans on demonstrations against the proposed constitutional change were recorded in a four-month period in the country. The grounds invoked by the authorities were generally vague and contrary to international law.

For example, in Kindia, in November 2019, the authorities banned a demonstration because: “Monday is the first day of the week, the day on which the entire administration begins work, the day on which pupils, students and the population have to go to school and also go about their daily business.”

Seventy people were arbitrarily arrested and detained for protesting against the proposed constitution change. Several of them told Amnesty International of the inhuman or degrading treatment they suffered while in detention.

Members of the Front national pour la défense de la Constitution (National Front for the Defence of the Constitution / FNDC), including two women, were stopped by residents on 22 March 2020 in the Boké region and beaten up while trying to dissuade voters from going to the polls. Taken into custody by the police, the two women said they were then threatened with rape.

Activist Abdoulaye Oumou Sow, who was arrested on 11 October 2019, was held in a “black cell” from 5pm until 1pm the following day. He told Amnesty International:

“I asked to have a urine bottle removed from the cell to help me breathe but the security officers refused, and worse still, they told me to drink it if I was thirsty.”

This behaviour by the military is in violation of international laws that prohibit torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. If it continues, the great fear is that this impunity will only encourage further violations and a mistrust of the Institutions.”

Samira Daoud.

“Whoever is elected in the presidential elections on 18 October will be required to ensure that all such violations are investigated and prosecuted and that those suspected are brought before the competent courts.”

“This behaviour by the military is in violation of international laws that prohibit torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. If it continues, the great fear is that this impunity will only encourage further violations and a mistrust of the institutions,” said Samira Daoud.

“Whoever is elected in the presidential elections on 18 October will be required to ensure that all such violations are investigated and prosecuted and that those suspected are brought before the competent courts.”


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How to identify Fake News or Messages on Social Media 

Beware of Fake News and Fake Messages on Social Media

Always follow websites or social media platforms of traditional media outlets whether newspapers, magazines,Television News Channels or Radio Stations and authentic online only media outlets.They still maintain journalism excellence and stress on reportorial talent.On the other hand, fake news websites run by people with non journalism background and promote their own ideology with fake news and disinformations and obviously conspiracy theories.

But unfortunately mainstream media also manipulates news to establish their story angle.There were various instances when News papers and TV Channels promoted fake news/conspiracy theories in the form of out of context or manipulated pictures/videos and distorted informations.

Always check the URL of any website.Some fake news websites look like the orginal and popular one the same layout,Logo but if you check the URL you may find extra words like if the orginal website's URL is the duplicate one might be or something like that so first check the URL for authentic informations.

Check whether photos are original or photoshopped.Check Google images for authenticity.You can find help from Google Reverse Images search.

Check the news sources from other websites whether they picked up the story or not.

Whether the website layout is little bit clumsy and obviously grammatical mistakes and spelling mistakes and excessive use of Sex related and sensational and hate stories.Because sex and hate sells.

Follow official websites relating to COVID-19

WHO Clarifies the disinformation about the virus:
COVID-19 virus can be transmitted in areas with hot and humid climates
Cold Weather and Snow can not kill the new coronavirus
Taking a Hot Bath Does Not Prevent COVID-19
COVID-19 Can not be transmitted through mosquito bites

Spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body will not kill viruses that have already entered your body. Spraying such substances can be harmful to clothes or mucous membranes (i.e. eyes, mouth)

According to World Health Organization (WHO): Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water

Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.

Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth . If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early.

Stay at home if you begin to feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and slight runny nose, until you recover.

Follow WHO guidelines

When you follow COVID-19 related news and messages from social media then check and recheck it before consuming it.Follow journalism mantra: if your mother says she loves you, check it out.

Most of the messages or informations quote different organizations like WHO, UNICEF, UNDP,Cambridge University  or other well known institutes,organizations or individual to authenticate the messeges.Check official websites of these organizations  if stories are repeated there

Forwarding messages from unknown sources or little known sources, it would be better to ignore it.

Check whether any logo like UNICEF or WHO or other organizations used in the messages which look similar to original logo.

These type of messages are full of Grammatical mistakes and spelling mistakes which are quite uncommon in original messages.

Don't rely on viral social media messages such as Coronavirus Infected Indian Currencies of Rs.500 and Rs.2,000 Notes Found, Muslim Man Spit in Food At Indian Restaurant.....Always Check Authentic Sources.

Some fake messages pretend to be real one like unofficial Twitter handle of international media organizations like BBC,CNN,Washinton Post, New York Times-check the official Twitter handles of media outlets.

You can identify fake messages if the message requests you to share it.

Beware of Fake News or Fake Photos/Videos Relating to Communal Hatred

Always check the fact checking sites if you have some doubts about the authenticity of any information or picture.

The Same Method Applies to You Tube Videos Check the Source the credibility of the Source.To Check Fake You Tube Videos Check and Recheck the sources. Does the person have the legal right to the video posted? Did that person capture the video? Whether it has been altered?

But due to advancement of technology we can not really wipe out fake news.According to experts advent of  Artificial Intelligence(AI) some companies small or big one developing  technologies that can  lay digitally created script to anybody's voice  even words,sentences never said by the person.Even they developing a technology which can create fake video footage,images,audios like originals.So be cautious! Rumour-mongers are active everywhere whether in physical world or cyber world.

Without evidence or with fake evidence, a conspiracy theory will always remain a conspiracy theory.

For any further information relating to fake news and how-to search authentic informations from the internet write to us or Whats App:+916289017966

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