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

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month 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.
Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countriesi
X
December 16, 2014 2:14 PM
Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.
Video

Video Indonesian Province to Expand Sharia Law

Indonesia has the world’s largest Muslim population and a legal system based on Dutch civil law and Indonesian government regulations. But in a 2001 compromise with separatists, Aceh province in Sumatra island’s north was allowed to implement Sharia law. Since then, religious justice has become increasingly strict. VOA correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh.
Video

Video Some Russian Businesses Thrive in Poor Economy

Capital flight, the fall in oil prices and Western sanctions are pushing Russia's staggering economy into recession. But not companies are suffering. The ruble’s drop in value has benefited exporters as well as businesses targeting increasingly frugal customers. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.

All About America

AppleAndroid