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Human Rights Group Wants Elections in Guinea

  • Fid Thompson

Human Rights Watch says Guinea's new military leaders must hold elections without delay and hold security forces responsible for past human rights abuses.

Human Rights Watch says a culture of impunity characterized former Guinean president Lasana Conte's years in power.

Corinne Dufka, the group's West African regional director, says Guinea suffers from "chronic human rights problems."

"There have been long-standing human rights issues which characterize the regime of the former president Conte. These include human rights abuses perpetrated primarily by the security forces, the army and the police, including widespread extortion, extra-judicial executions, torture during interrogation," she said.

In a letter to Guinea's new military leader Captain Moussa Camara, Dufka called on him to organize elections as soon as possible. Captain Camara came to power in a coup last month within hours of President Conte's death.

Captain Camara announced his Cabinet in a nationwide broadcast last week that promised political, social and economic reform but did not give a date for elections.

Captain Camara promised to prepare an environment conducive to free and fair elections in what he called a spirit of honesty and solidarity.

Dufka says that if Captain Camara take concrete steps toward free elections it will send a signal of confidence that he is serious about addressing Guinea's long-standing culture of impunity.

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