Human Lives Human Rights: A group of soldiers staged a coup in West African Guinea last weekend in which soldiers from the National Committee for Reconciliation and Development (CNRD) seized power and detained President Alpha Condé.
Guinea’s security forces ousted President Alpha Conde on 5 September and dissolved the government, claiming it did so to tackle ongoing corruption and poverty.
According to the leader of the coup, Lieutenant Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, a transitional government is currently under construction. The whereabouts of ousted President Alpha Condé (83) and his health remain unclear.
Prior to Sunday’s coup, Guinea’s democracy was already seriously flawed and fragile. The president had recently amended the constitution to ensure he could serve a third term, and the country’s security forces were often accused of carrying out human rights violations and repressing peaceful political demonstrations.
Instead of helping to strengthen the rule of law and democratic procedures, the country’s elite security forces took matters into its own hands.
Towards the end of 6 September, Colonel Mamady Doumbouya said a new government would be formed within a matter of weeks, and that there would be no reprisals against former government officials. The president was reportedly still in captivity.
Following the military coup, ARTICLE 19 calls on all authorities, including the military, security forces and the incoming government, to uphold democracy and observe international standards on human rights.
Human Rights groups call on CNRD leaders to protect and guarantee the human rights of Guinea’s entire population, which has suffered years of violations and repression.
Many political opponents and protesters were arrested before and after last October’s presidential election. All those arbitrarily detained must be released.
Coup leaders must also clarify on which legal basis they are detaining President Alpha Condé. He must either be charged with a recognizable criminal offense or be immediately released.