Statement of IHRDA on the September 28 case in Guinea, at the 62nd Ordinary Session of the ACHPR

Nouakchott, Mauritania – 26 April 2018

Your Excellency the Honorable Chairperson of ACHPR

Honorable Commissioners,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

On 28 September 2009, the leaders of the “Forces Vives” summoned their militants to the Stadium in order to express their disapproval of Mr.Moussa Dadis Camara’s candidacy for the January 2010 Presidential Election.

That bloody Monday and thereafter,  , following the suppression of the protesters, by soldiers, security officers and some civilians, about 150 persons were killed, dozens of women raped, acts of sexual violence were perpetrated,about a hundred persons reported to have disappeared, hundreds of persons injured, persons were  forcibly confined , some were illegally detained, amidst a significant amount of material losses. In all, we can estimate a total of over 1,000 (one thousand) victims, all victims considered. With investigations opened on 8 February 2010, the team of investigating magistrates on 29 December 2017, passed Order N°007 re-qualifying the facts, purporting partial dismissal and referring the case to the Criminal Court: twelve (12) persons were referred to Criminal Court, two (02) persons obtained case dismissal, fifteen (15) witnesses were heard, about four hundred and thirty (430) victims were auditioned.

It is worth specifying that on 26 September 2017, the victims filed  a complaint against General Sékouba Konaté for crimes against humanity on the basis of hierarchical responsibility. In response to this complaint, the team of investigating magistrates passed Order N°004 of 19 October 2017 on refusal to notify, on grounds that they could not find a link between the accused and the offence.

It should be noted that appeals were made against both Orders.

For the conduct of the trial, a Steering Committee of thirteen (13) members was set up, by an Order of the Minister of Justice dated 09 April 2018.

These results were obtained thanks to the efforts (reception, documentation and legal support) of the Guinean Organization for the Defense of Human Rights and the Citizen (OGDH), the Pool of lawyers, the Association of Victims, Parents and Friends of September28 (AVIPA), the Association of Families of the September 28, 2009 Disappeared Persons (AFADIS) and other Organizations such as FIDH, OSIWA, Trust Africa and Human Rights Watch, as well as the European Union.

Talking about the International Criminal Court (the ICC), it should be specified that on 14 October, 2009 the Office of the Prosecutor announced the opening of a preliminary investigation on the situation in Guinea. Since then, the Office of the Prosecutor has, I think, carried out sixteen (16) missions in Guinea, to meet with political, administrative and judicial authorities. The last mission was in February 2018.

As for the victims, it should be pointed out that some are receiving medical and psychological assistance from EU funding. However, it should be noted that some victims have died and that the majority of those who survived have difficulties to meet basic needs; mainly orphans and women with AIDS or repudiated by their husbands. Finally, it should be noted that no investigation has been carried out concerning the cases of disappearances. Your Excellency the Honorable Chairperson,

Honorable Commissioners,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In view of the foregoing, on behalf of the victims and our various partners, we hereby seek the support of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights for a fair, equitable and inclusive trial in Guinea – one at which Mr Moussa Dadis Camara and General Sékouba Konaté will be present; one in which the security of all actors is ensured, considering the experience and expertise that the Commission can bring to Guinea within the framework of national reconciliation initiated a few years ago.

Thank you.

Delivered by Maître Hamidou Barry, lawyer and civil society actor in Guinea, on behalf of IHRDA.

 

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