News / Africa

National Inquiry Wants Suspected Killers of Demonstrators Tried in Guinea

Guinea's national inquiry into September's killing of opposition demonstrators says all suspects should be tried before Guinean courts.  A U.N. investigation says they should be brought before the International Criminal Court.

Guinea's national commission of inquiry is recommending a general amnesty for opposition leaders who it says broke the law September 28 by holding an illegal demonstration against the expected presidential candidacy of military ruler Captain Moussa Dadis Camara.

Demonstrators at the national stadium were attacked by members of Guinea's military.  Human-rights officials say at least 157 people were killed and dozens of women raped.

The national commission of inquiry has absolved Captain Camara of responsibility for that violence because he was not at the stadium.  It blames the former head of the presidential guard, who tried to assassinate Captain Camara in December because he says the captain was trying to blame him for the killing.

A U.N. investigation says there is sufficient evidence to presume direct criminal responsibility by Captain Camara, other members of the ruling military council and the former head of the presidential guard.  It recommends International Criminal Court action against those responsible.

Guinea's national commission of inquiry says those suspected of leading the violence should be tried in Guinean courts.

Commission Chairman Sirman Kouyate says considering the country's new transitional government, the commission recommends that those suspected of murder, rape, arson, and stealing weapons be identified and prosecuted under Guinean jurisdiction.

Corinne Dufka heads West Africa operations for Human Rights Watch.

"A country is obliged and responsible for holding accountable its citizens who would be responsible and implicated in the types of crimes that we saw in September," said Corinne Dufka. "So an international court is designed to be a court of last resort only if and when a country is incapable or refuses or there is a lack of political will to hold individuals responsible."

The U.N. recommendation for International Criminal Court action was made before Guinea's new interim authority, at a time when Dufka says it looked unlikely that Captain Camara would allow an unbiased trial, especially as he might be one of the suspects.

"The political situation has changed and the Guinean government has pledged to hold accountable those responsible," she said. "Now, if they refuse to do so, then in that case international options including the International Criminal Court can be considered."

The transitional authority led jointly by Captain Camara's defense minister and a new civilian prime minister has vowed to punish those responsible for the violence.  As neither the U.N. inquiry nor the national commission's findings have the force of law, Dufka says it is time for a thorough criminal investigation.

"The justice ministry, the Guinean police need to begin a proper investigation into what happened with a view to holding those most responsible accountable," said Dufka. "Their investigation should be open to the highest levels, that is including the criminal responsibility of erstwhile CNDD president Dadis Camara."

The French ambassador to the United Nations, Gerard Araud, says the were clearly crimes against humanity committed September 28.  He says the Security Council should express its political support for both Guinea's domestic prosecution of those crimes as well as the ongoing investigation by the International Criminal Court. 

You May Like

Syrian Rebels Poised for Anti-Russia Collaboration

Forty-one insurgent groups issue joint statement vowing retaliation for Russian air offensives More

Political Maneuver Revives Export-Import Bank's Chances

Parliamentary tactic gets bill out of committee, but it faces opposition in the Senate More

Beijing Warns US on S. China Sea Patrols

Warning follows news reports Thursday that US military is planning to sail warships close to artificial islands Beijing has been aggressively building More

This forum has been closed.
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.
House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdrawsi
Jim Malone
October 09, 2015 12:32 AM
The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdraws

The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video German, US Officials Investigate Volkswagen

German officials have taken steps to restore some of the reputation their car industry has lost after a recent Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal. Authorities have searched Volkswagen headquarters and other locations in an effort to identify the culprits in the creation of software that helps cheat on emission tests. Meanwhile, a group of lawmakers in Washington held a hearing to get to the bottom of the cheating strategy that was first discovered in the United States. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Why Are Gun Laws So Hard for Congress to Tackle?

Since taking office, President Barack Obama has spoken out or issued statements about 15 mass shootings. The most recent shooting, in which 10 people were killed at a community college, sparked outrage over the nation's gun laws. But changing those laws isn't as easy as many think. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.

Video Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugees

Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Iraqi-Kurdish Teachers Vow to Continue Protest

Sixteen people were injured when police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse teachers and other public employees who took to the streets in Iraq’s Kurdish north, demanding their salaries from the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). VOA’s Dilshad Anwar, in Sulaimaniya, caught up with protesting teachers who say they have not been paid for three months. Parke Brewer narrates his report.

Video Syrian Village Community Faces Double Displacement in Lebanon

Driven by war from their village in southwestern Syria, a group of families found shelter in Lebanon, resettling en masse in a half-built university to form one of the biggest settlements of its kind in Lebanon. Three years later, however, they now face being kicked out and dispersed in a country where finding shelter as a refugee can be especially tough. John Owens has more for VOA from the city of Saida, also known as Sidon.

Video Bat Colony: Unusual Tourist Attraction in Texas

The action hero Batman might be everyone’s favorite but real bats hardly get that kind of adoration. Put more than a million of these creatures of the night together and it only evokes images of horror. Sarah Zaman visited the largest urban bat colony in North America to see just how well bat and human get along with each other.

Video Device Shows Promise of Stopping Motion Sickness

It’s a sickening feeling — the dizziness, nausea and vomiting that comes with motion sickness. But a device now being developed could stop motion sickness by suppressing certain signals in the brain. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

VOA Blogs