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Guinea: After 7 months of arbitrary detention, the activist Oumar Sylla must be released
Public statement  Posté le 29-04-2021 20:30, modifié le 29-04-2021 07:30 par Tournons la Page

April 29, 2021 will mark seven months of arbitrary detention of Oumar Sylla, deputy national coordinator of Tournons La Page Guinea and head of mobilization and branches of the National Front for the Defense of the Constitution (FNDC), who was arrested in the middle of the street in Conakry while on his way to a demonstration against the proposed third term of incumbent President Alpha Condé.

Tournons La Page, ACAT-France, Amnesty International, the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (FIDH-OMCT), and Agir ensemble pour les droits humains call for the immediate and unconditional release of Oumar Sylla, all human rights defenders and other persons arbitrarily detained in Guinea.

"That activist Oumar Sylla, like many others arbitrarily detained, is still in prison simply for exercising his rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly proves the clear will of the Guinean government to continue to muzzle any dissenting voice even after the presidential election. They should all be released immediately and unconditionally" the signatories said.

On September 29, 2020, Oumar Sylla was violently arrested by plain-clothed men in the middle of the street in the commune of Matoto in Conakry as he was about to participate in a demonstration organized by the FNDC to protest the candidacy of President Alpha Conde for a third term. He was taken to the Directorate of Judicial Police (DPJ) and questioned without his lawyers being able to assist him, which is an infringement of the rights of the defense. A few hours later, the prosecutor of the court of Mafanco decided to prosecute Oumar Sylla for "illegal assembly, disturbance of public order, destruction of public property and undermining state security", to place him in pre-trial detention and to have him incarcerated in the central prison of Conakry. A prison that he unfortunately knows well for having already spent four months in arbitrary detention between April 17 and August 27, 2020, accused of "communication and dissemination of false information" after participating in the prime time program "Les Grandes Gueules" on Radio Espace FM, during which he denounced the arbitrary arrests and abuses that occurred in the city of N'Zérékoré on March 22, 2020. The charges against him were dropped in August 2020.

A hunger strike to be judged

After nearly three months in pretrial detention, Oumar Sylla began a hunger strike on December 25, 2020, to demand his trial. He ended his strike on January 8, 2021, after the date of his hearing was scheduled. He was very weak and had to be hospitalized the same day.

On January 28, 2021, Oumar Sylla was sentenced to 11 months in prison by the court of Mafanco in Conakry for "criminal participation in an assembly likely to disturb public order. His lawyers immediately appealed the decision and the date for his appeal is set for May 20, 2021.

Oumar Sylla also contracted Covid-19 in March 2021 and was only able to receive medical assistance under pressure from public opinion and his lawyers. 


Signatory organizations


Agir ensemble pour les droits humains

Amnesty International

Fédération internationale pour les droits humains (FIDH), dans le cadre de l’Observatoire pour la protection des défenseurs de droits de l’Homme

Mêmes Droits pour Tous (MDT)

Organisation guinéenne de défense des droits de l'Homme et du Citoyen (OGDH)

Organisation Mondiale Contre la Torture (OMCT), dans le cadre de l’Observatoire pour la protection des défenseurs de droits de l’Homme

Tournons La Page