HRC45 | Guinea must commit to protect defenders

06.10.2020

On Monday 28 September, at the 45th session of the UN Human Rights Council, the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) report of Guinea, which took place on 21 January 2020, was adopted. In a statement delivered during the session, ISHR and its partner, the Collectif des ONGs pour des textes respectueux des droits humains, welcomed the acceptance by Guinea of several recommendations aimed at creating a safe working environment for defenders and combating attacks and threats they face to guarantee freedom of expression, association and assembly.

In January, Guinea accepted 203 recommendations out of the 213 received, taking note of the remaining 10. Mr. Mamadou Taran Diallo, Minister of Citizenship and National Unity of Guinea, indicated that a vast information and awareness raising campaign on the recommendations resulting from the UPR has been carried out in order to enable all stakeholders to better understand them and thus feel concerned by their implementation. Following this broad consultation, the Guinean Government committed itself to implementing the accepted recommendations.

Several delegations noted the marked improvements in Guinea, including the steps it had taken to protect civil and political rights, including through the establishment of a national human rights institution and the legal abolition of the death penalty. Nevertheless, ISHR highlighted that since the referendum of 22 March resetting the presidential term limits to zero, followed by the announcement of President Alpha Condé run for a third term, the country has been the scene of numerous human rights violations, particularly against civil society.

The prospect of a new bid has for months now led to a wave of demonstrations that has left dozens of people dead and continues to lead to numerous arrests. “Saikou Yaya Diallo, who was arrested in May 2020 after giving an interview to a radio station on the human rights situation in the country, suffers from chronic diabetes. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, he is at increased risk of contracting the virus. Despite this, all requests for his release have not been granted and he remains incarcerated in Conakry prison” said Habibatou Diallo.

Therefore, ISHR continues to call on Guinea to end impunity for violations committed by security forces during public demonstrations and respect its constitutional commitment and international obligations to guarantee the enjoyment of the right to freedom of assembly.

Indeed, it remains crucial that the government of Guinea continues to work closely with civil society to move the process towards the adoption of a national law for the promotion and protection of defenders, thus strengthening the legal framework protecting them, particularly in the run-up to the upcoming presidential elections.

Watch the statement here:

 

Contact: Adélaïde Etong Kame, Africa Programme Manager a.etong@ishr.ch

Photo: ISHR

 

Category:

Region
  • Europe
  • North America
Topic
  • Human rights defenders
  • United Nations
Mechanism
  • UN Human Rights Council
Country
  • France
  • United States