Blanket ban on protests until the election campaign starts

Special forces commander Mamady Doumbouya, who ousted President Alpha Conde, walks out after meeting the envoys from the ECOWAS, Conakry, Guinea September 10, 2021. REUTERS/Saliou Samb

Peaceful Assembly

On 13th May 2022, Comité National du Rassemblement pour le Développement (CNRD), the military transitional authorities, announced that all public protests “likely to compromise social tranquillity and the proper implementation of the activities contained in the timetable, (…)” are banned until the start of the electoral campaign period.

The decision follows the announcement on 11th May 2022 by the National Transitional Council (CNT), the legislative-like body of the military transitional authorities, that the transitional period would take 36 months. Previously, on 30th April 2022, the leader of the CNRD, Mamady Doumbouya, said in an address on television that the military transition period could last 39 months.

The protest ban was widely condemned by civil society groups that say the ban is not only in violation of international treaties, such as Article 21 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and Article 11 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR), but it also violates the military junta’s own Transitional Charter, which guarantees the “freedom of association, assembly, press and publication” per Article 34.

Additionally, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) condemned the protest ban, appealing to the military transitional authorities to revoke it.

Expression

Journalists threatened, assaulted

According to Reporters without Borders (RSF), soldiers assaulted journalist Mohamed M’bemba Condé on 10th May 2022, while he was reporting on an operation run by officials in Kindia to identify buildings and land to be recovered by the state. The soliders, who were accompanying the operation, assaulted the Espace Kindia radio host and Guinée Matin newspaperreporter after they said his car blocked their way. M’bemba Condé’s two phones were broken and confiscated. The journalist had to be taken to the hospital due to injuries sustained during the assault.

On 24th May 2022, a journalist for Espace FM and correspondent for mediaguinee.com in Kankan, Ahmed Sékou Nabé, was attacked and threatened by military officers while covering a military demolition operation, according to the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA). Sékou Nabé, who was at the Missiran district of Kankan with two colleagues and was taking pictures of the operation, was confronted and pushed by the deputy commander of the Soundjata Keita Military Camp, after presenting his press ID. The commander ordered the journalist to hand over his phone, forcing him to unlock the phone with his fingerprint and delete the pictures of the operaton. Sékou Nabé was further threatened with arrest and assault, if the deputy commander would see any picture of the operation online.