Free Oumar SYLLA and Ibrahima DIALLO! The systematic repression of human rights defenders in Guinea must be stopped immediately!
On Saturday, July 30, 2022, Oumar SYLLA and Ibrahima DIALLO were arrested by the military junta in power in Guinea. Oumar SYLLA, alias Foniké Menguè, coordinator of the National Front for the Defense of the Constitution (FNDC) and deputy coordinator of Tournons La Page Guinea (TLP-Guinea), was arrested at his home at around 1:40 a.m. Ibrahima DIALLO, coordinator of TLP-Guinea and head of operations for the FNDC, was also arrested at around 6:00 pm at his home. The two activists were arrested separately in a violent manner by hooded and heavily armed soldiers and gendarmes and taken to an unknown destination. The FNDC did not hesitate to describe the arrests as a "kidnapping". Throughout the day, Oumar SYLLA's family was not informed of his location. It was not until 3:00 p.m. that we were informed that he was being held at the high command of the gendarmerie, where he was later joined by Ibrahima DIALLO, arrested during the afternoon. These arrests, in addition to being arbitrary, are absolutely illegal, especially that of Oumar SYLLA, which occurred outside the hours authorized by Guinean law for any arrest. The Guinean law forbids any arrest at home between 9pm and 6am.
We recall that this is the second time, during the month of July 2022, that Oumar SYLLA has been arrested. Already on July 5, he was arrested while holding a press conference. Two other activists - Billo BAH (TLP-Guinea) and Djanii ALPHA (FNDC) - were forcibly dragged along with him to the Central Directorate of the Judicial Police (DCPJ). They were released on July 8, 2022 by the Court of First Instance of Dixinn. Citizen mobilizations demanding their release undoubtedly contributed to their release.
The arrests and prosecutions come amid renewed violence in Conakry after authorities banned a series of protests organized by the FNDC starting June 23 to express concern about the military junta's unilateral management of the transition. At the last rally on July 28, law enforcement officials reported 12 people injured and 85 people arrested. According to the FNDC, four people were killed and several others were shot, five of whom are currently in critical condition. The regime's violent repression is intended to silence any dissenting voices and discourage citizens from mobilizing.
These new arrests are a serious threat to freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of expression in Guinea. Our organizations recall that the ban on all gatherings announced on May 13, 2022, by the National Committee of the Rally for Development (CNRD) "until the election campaign period" is contrary to international law, including the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights and the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, both of which Guinea has signed. It also contravenes the transitional charter sought by the CNRD and signed on September 27, 2021 by the head of state, article 34 of which states that "freedom of association, assembly, press and publication are guaranteed.
Following these events, the FNDC met with the current Chairman of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State, His Excellency Umaro SISSOCO EMBALO, on Friday, July 29. The FNDC agreed to ECOWAS' request to suspend the demonstrations for one week, in order to allow a favorable outcome to the crisis through mediation.
The arrest of Oumar SYLLA and Ibrahima DIALLO, as well as the harassment of FNDC activists by the CNRD, compromises the implementation and success of this mediation process.
- We demand the immediate release and lifting of all charges against Oumar SYLLA and Ibrahima DIALLO ;
- We demand that the CNRD put an immediate end to the repression and harassment of TLP-Guinea and FNDC activists as well as citizens who have peacefully participated in demonstrations called by the FNDC ;
- We call on Guinea's international partners to call for respect of the rights of FNDC activists and Guinean citizens, including suspending all security cooperation with the country ;
- We call on the Guinean authorities to immediately restore the right to freedom of peaceful assembly, to drop charges against those who wish to exercise it, and to release those arbitrarily arrested for exercising this right.
Monday, August 1, 2022
- ActionAid France
- AfricanDefenders (Pan-African Human Rights Defenders Network)
- Agir ensemble pour les droits humains
- ATTAC France
- ATTAC Togo
- Festival des Solidarités Niger
- FIDH, in the framework of the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders
- IDST (Internationale des Savoirs pour Tous)
- Justice et Paix
- OMCT (World Organisation Against Torture), in the framework of the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders
- PAPDA Haïti (Plateforme haïtienne de plaidoyer pour un développement alternatif)
- Tournons La Page
Press contact :
Communication officer at Tournons La Page