News

    UN Secretary-General Receives Report on Guinea Protesters' Killing

    U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has received the report of an international commission of inquiry into September's killing of opposition protesters in Guinea. Human rights leaders in Guinea say the international community must hold accountable those responsible for the violence.

    Multimedia

    Audio

    The secretary-general says he is now considering the report and will then pass it on to  Guinea's military government, the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States, and the U.N. Security Council.

    The three-member commission spent ten days in Conakry hearing testimony from security officials and opposition demonstrators who were at the national stadium September 28.

    Local human rights groups say dozens of women were raped and at least 157 people were killed demonstrating against the expected candidacy of military ruler Captain Moussa Dadis Camara. His government says 57 people died, most in the crush of people fleeing the stadium.

    Now that the U.N. commission has finished its report, human rights leaders in Guinea say the international community must hold accountable those responsible for the violence.

    Tierno Madjou Sow is president of Guinea's Human Rights Organization. He says the military government has committed crimes against humanity to be brought before the International Criminal Court.

    Sow says he is certain the violence of September 28 was organized because many civilian and public security officials have testified about how it was pre-planned. Sow says you can see how it was premeditated in the way it was carried out, in the way that protesters were allowed to enter the stadium, then all of the doors were closed.

    Aliou Barry heads Guinea's national observer group on human rights.

    Barry says what is important is that there is a phenomena of impunity in Guinea that does not punish people responsible for human rights violations. People who torture live together with their victims. Since September 28, Barry says no one has been arrested. And victims are afraid, especially women who have given testimony about being raped.

    In addition to the U.N. investigation, Guinea's military government has its own inquiry. That commission's president, Sirman Kouyate, says the group has already heard testimony from opposition leaders, civil society leaders, and security chiefs.

    Kouyate says the commission of inquiry's sub-committees have now begun their work on the ground to investigate what happened.

    But the commission raised questions this week when the head of its sub-committee investigating rape said there were no confirmed cases of sexual assault reported at the Donka National Hospital.

    Because she says most of the women who claim to have been raped waited more than one month to seek medical treatment, subcommittee chair Pierrette Tolno says the commission  now concludes there were no confirmed cases of rape relating to September's violence.

    Corinne Dufka heads the West Africa office for Human Rights Watch.

    "There were a number of women who actually did seek medical treatment according to doctors who I interviewed at Danka Hospital. They said they treated three or four women for splinters, for hemorrhages secondary to being raped with sticks or guns or other objects. So women did get treated in the hospital," said Dufka.

    Human Rights Watch Thursday released the most comprehensive report to date on the September 28 killing. It says the violence was an organized, premeditated operation by members of the presidential guard, gendarmes, police, and civilian militia.

    Captain Camara blames the violence on both his political opponents and what he calls "uncontrollable elements" of the military.

    The former head of the presidential guard says he shot Captain Camara in the head two week ago because the captain was trying to blame him for the September violence. In an interview with French radio, Lieutenant Aboubacar Diakite says he will not turn himself in because he believes he will be killed to cover-up what happened September 28.

    Captain Camara is recovering in a Moroccan military hospital. There has been little news about his condition and no official word on when he might return to Guinea.
     

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees with Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees with Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.