News / Africa

Guinea's Court Charges Governor over Torture of Civilians

Guinean police detain supporters of UFDG presidential candidate Cellou Dalein Diallo suspected of throwing stones and looting in Conakry, November 15, 2010.
Guinean police detain supporters of UFDG presidential candidate Cellou Dalein Diallo suspected of throwing stones and looting in Conakry, November 15, 2010.
Nancy Palus
A court in Guinea has charged the governor of the capital in a case of alleged torture of civilians. Human rights advocates are hailing the move as a significant step in Guinea’s long fight against impunity. Guineans say it is an important victory but the greatest challenges lie ahead.

The charges against Conakry governor Sekou Resco Camara stem from an incident during the 2010 presidential campaign when soldiers arbitrarily rounded up and detained youths after protesters threw stones at an official motorcade.

Thierno still has problems with his vision from being beaten in the head in 2010. He says he and many others who were rounded up that day had nothing to do with the protests and were randomly targeted by security forces.

He says it is very important that these officials account for their acts. He says countless Guineans continue to suffer from physical abuse by security forces; this is just the way it has always been in Guinea and we have yet to see any prosecutions. It is important for the future of the Guinean people, he says, that offenders be brought to justice.

Aliou Barry, president of the Guinean Human Rights Observatory, says, Guineans fighting for justice are encouraged, but worried at the same time because Camara remains governor of the capital, Conakry.

He says as someone who continues to wield significant power, Camara could easily make reprisal attacks against those involved in pursuing the case. He says we are very pleased with this step but we are vigilant above all.

Barry says this process must not stop at just charges being brought.

The International Federation for Human Rights, which has been working with victims of the 2010 case, called the court’s move a significant advance in Guinea’s fight against impunity.

A stadium massacre in Conakry in September 2009 threw Guinea into the spotlight, but was just part of a long history of human rights violations.

Guinea has seen some advances in recent months, including the creation of a government ministry for human rights and civil liberties, and charges being brought in the stadium case. But the country, which had military rule and dictatorship for decades, has a long way to go in battling impunity. No one has been prosecuted for the stadium attack or countless other attacks on civilians by security forces over decades.

Torture is not a crime under Guinea’s current penal code, but the country has ratified the international convention against torture. Civil society groups are working toward a national law criminalizing torture.

You May Like

Multimedia US Defense Secretary: Iraqi Forces Lack 'Will to Fight'

Ash Carter criticizes Iraq's reaction to Islamic State; National Security Advisor Susan Rice echoed Carter's concerns in an interview on CBS More

Boko Haram Surrounds Havens With Land Mines

Chad and Cameroon say huge numbers of land mines planted by Boko Haram fighters along Cameroon's border with Nigeria are a danger to people, livestock and soldiers More

Women Peace Activists Cross Korean DMZ

Governments of Koreas give international delegation of women peace activists permission to pass through heavily fortified border, but some critics say symbolic crossing only benefits Pyongyang More

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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs