The Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa (IHRDA) filed communication 249/02 (on behalf of Sierra Leonean refugees in Guinea) before the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACmHPR) against Guinea. Most Sierra Leonean refugees in Guinea alleged to have suffered grave human rights violated, after the Guinean President Lansana Conté made a speech stating that Sierra Leonean refugees in Guinea should be arrested, searched and confined to refugee camps.
Sierra Leoneans refugees in Guinea suffered from looting and exortion, physical violence, Arbitrary Arrest, Rape and Strip Searching, thus Sierra Leoneans where left with no option but to either stay in Guinea and continue suffering from these degrading treatments or go back to Sierra Leone where the civil war was still going on.
-Whether exemption from exhaustion of local remedies rule applies to refugees en masse or individuals.
-Whether the respondent state is in violation of the certain rights guaranteed under Africa Charter
Alleged violations of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights
Article 2 – Right to Freedom from Discrimination
Article 4 – Right to Life
Article 5 – Prohibition of Torture and Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment
Article 12 – Right to Freedom of Movement
Article 14 – Right to Property
Status of the communication
The respondent State was said to have violated Articles 2, 4, 5, 12 and 14 of the African Charter and Article 4 of the AU Convention Governing Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa. The communication was decided on merits at the 36th Ordinary Session of the ACmHPR held in Dakar, Senegal.