11/05/2023 - Tournons La Page is very pleased with the release of its three members and colleagues, Oumar SYLLA - alias Foniké Menguè - Ibrahima DIALLO and Mamadou Billo BAH, this Wednesday, May 10, 2023 at around 22:30. These releases come as Conakry is once again the scene of bloody demonstrations that resulted in the death of seven people yesterday, according to a report presented by the Forces Vives de Guinée (FVG). Tournons La Page stands in solidarity with the families of those killed and demands the restoration of the right to peaceful protest.
On Saturday, July 30, 2022, Oumar SYLLA, alias Foniké Menguè, coordinator of the National Front for the Defense of the Constitution (FNDC) and deputy coordinator of Tournons La Page Guinée (TLP-Guinée) and Ibrahima DIALLO, coordinator of TLP-Guinée and head of operations for the FNDC, were arrested at their home. These arrests follow the demonstrations of July 28 and 29, 2022 organized by the FNDC to denounce the unilateral management of the transition by the National Committee of the Rally for Development (CNRD). The demonstrations were violently repressed by the security forces and resulted in the death of several demonstrators. The two activists were charged with "criminal participation in an assembly", "assault and battery", "criminal conspiracy" "obstruction of freedom of movement", "complicity", "arson and looting" and "destruction of private property”.
On August 1, 2022, Sékou KOUNDOUNO - in charge of strategy and planning for the FNDC - denounced to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court the murderous repression of FNDC citizen demonstrations by the CNRD. The Minister of Justice, Mr. Charles WRIGHT, then asked the Prosecutor General's Office in Conakry to initiate proceedings for "defamation" and "disclosure of false information" against the FNDC and Sékou KOUNDOUNO. On August 12 of the same year, the Guinean government finally announced the dissolution of the FNDC, condemning its members to live in hiding: Mamadou Billo BAH - in charge of mobilizing FNDC branches - and Abdoulaye Oumou SOW - in charge of FNDC communications - were therefore actively sought.
On November 7, 2022, Oumar SYLLA and Ibrahima DIALLO began a hunger strike to demand a fair trial. Indeed, after more than 3 months of detention, no guarantee of the Guinean code of criminal procedure had been respected. At the request of their lawyers, Oumar SYLLA and Ibrahima DIALLO ended their strike on November 15.
After Ibrahima DIALLO and Oumar SYLLA in July 2022, it was Mamadou Billo BAH's turn to be violently arrested on January 21, 2023 in Conakry. He was charged three days later for "participation in a criminal demonstration", "assault and battery", "destruction of private and public property" and "complicity in all of the above", and then detained at the Central House of Conakry.
On March 7 2023, Mary LAWLOR - United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders - sent a letter to the Guinean government concerning the allegations of ill-treatment of Mamadou Billo BAH and two other human rights defenders.
On Monday, May 8, 2023, after more than 10 months of arbitrary detention for Oumar SYLLA and Ibrahima DIALLO and 3 months for Mamadou Billo BAH, the three activists received a visit from religious leaders Elhadji Mamadou Saliou CAMARA and Vincent KOULIBALY, who informed them that the government had agreed to their release under judicial supervision, in exchange for the definitive renunciation of their civic struggle. The three FNDC activists rejected the proposal and demanded the immediate opening of a trial at the court of first instance in Dixinn.
This Wednesday, May 10, 2023, around 10:30 pm, Oumar SYLLA, Ibrahima DIALLO and Mamadou Billo BAH were released "unconditionally", according to the statements of the Collective of lawyers responsible for their defense.
Although Tournons La Page welcomes this news, it must be noted that this release comes in a still explosive context of demonstrations demanding a rapid return to constitutional order, which were repressed in blood. In a statement released today, the FVG counted the death of at least 7 people by gunshot, as well as 32 wounded by gunshot (13 of them in critical condition) and 56 arbitrary arrests.
Tournons La Page demands:
- The immediate restoration of the right to peaceful demonstration, the abandonment of prosecutions against those who wish to exercise it, and the release of those arbitrarily arrested for exercising this right;
- An end to the harassment, including judicial harassment, of members and supporters of the FNDC and TLP-Guinea as well as citizens who have peacefully participated in FNDC demonstrations;
- The unconditional release of all human rights defenders and dissenting voices detained arbitrarily.
Thursday, May 11, 2023
Marc ONA ESSANGUI
President, Tournons La Page
Moyra OBLITAS, Communication officer