News / Africa

Guinea Hands Down First Rape Charges for 2009 Massacre

Guinea 2009 Massacre
Guinea 2009 Massacre

Location

N.6, Guinea
— Authorities in the West African nation of Guinea have handed down the first rape charges against a security official allegedly involved in the September 2009 massacre at a stadium in the capital, Conakry.  But the head of a local victims’ organization says the indictment is no guarantee that justice will be done in the case.

Guinea’s stadium massacre occurred during a pro-democracy demonstration on September 28, 2009.  At about 11:30 that morning, security forces loyal to the former military junta stormed the stadium, opening fire on tens of thousands of demonstrators and killing around 150 of them, according to Human Rights Watch.

The massacre was marked by brutal instances of sexual violence.  A United Nations inquiry found there were at least 109 victims of rape on or in the days following the massacre.  Some women were taken to private residences and gang raped for up to five days, a separate Human Rights Watch inquiry found.

Although several officials have been charged in connection with the massacre, none had been accused of rape before the indictment against a gendarme officer on April 30.  The International Federation for Human Rights says the officer was questioned for several hours on Tuesday.

Asmaou Diallo, president of a victims’ association, says the arrest is a positive step.  But she said Guinea’s judiciary still has to prove it is up to the task of trying cases related to the massacre.

“This is something that encourages us, but not too much, because sometimes justice doesn't produce the correct judgment," she said. "Sometimes we have a parody of justice.  So I don't know what's going to happen.”

Diallo also said the lack of progress in other cases related to the massacre is cause for concern.

“There are other people who are charged, but the justice process hasn’t advanced for us," she said. "At our level, it's necessary that the justice continues on course -- not just arresting and charging people, but also handing down judgments.”

The International Federation for Human Rights says persistent impunity in Guinea could be a factor contributing to recent political unrest.  Legislative polls are scheduled for June 30.  The opposition has objected to the poll date, sparking protests in recent weeks that have resulted in several deaths.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid