Violence during public assemblies in Guinea

Although article 7 of Guinea's constitution guarantees the freedom of peaceful assembly, on 17th and 18th June the military violently suppressed a protest by residents of the city of Mali, who were calling for the departure of Army Colonel Issa Camara. Twenty-two citizens were injured, three of them seriously. Men in uniform belonging to Battalion of Colonel Camara caused considerable damage to property, vandalising and burning dozens of shops, and killing livestock belonging to residents of Mali. 

The inauguration of a mosque in Timbo resulted in clashes between police and an angry mob who blocked the gate. Guinea's prime minister was present at the inauguration and required a heavy police presence to ensure his security. When protestors blocked access to the interior of the mosque, police forces used tear gas to disperse the crowd and people were seen climbing the wall to escape.

Other recent protests in Guinea were more peaceful, however. On 3rd June, a peaceful protest was initiated by the students of the Vocational Training Institute, who sought to highlight the four month delay in payments by the relevant government department. Similarly, on 21st June, 165 workers of ANAIM, a hospital located in the industrial city of Kamsar, led a peaceful strike and demanded an improvement in their living and working conditions.

Expression

On 22nd June, Milo FM radio journalist, Bouya Kebe, was accused of being complicit in making of contemptuous remarks against the Head of State. He was ordered by the Court of First Instance in Kankan to pay a fine of one million Guinean Francs (about $110). The court also sentenced the commentator who made the remarks to a year in prison for contempt of the Head of State.

Another journalist, Malick Diallo of the privately owned weekly publication “Le Populaire” was severely assaulted by the President's bodyguards while visiting the headquarters of the ruling party to cover its weekly meeting. Mr. Diallo was assaulted after he took a photo of President Alpha Conde leaving the meeting. Article 38 of the constitution explicitly prohibits the President from participating in political party activities, hence the photo taken by Mr. Diallo documents him committing an unconstitutional act.