Our members in danger

The work of activists is not without danger, and many suffer serious violations of their rights. The members of Tournons La Page, through the subjects they deal with, are particularly targeted by these attacks. The purpose of this page is to draw attention to these human rights defenders who are persecuted in their respective countries for their work of citizen control.

 

 

 

Guinea
Oumar Sylla

Arrêté·e le 29 September 2020

En prison depuis
1 year

On 29 September 2020, Oumar Sylla was violently arrested (he ended up with his clothes and mask torn and a wound in his hand) by plainclothes men in the street in the commune of Matoto in Conakry as he was about to take part in a demonstration organised by the FNDC to protest against President Alpha Condé's candidacy for a third term. He was taken to the Directorate of Judicial Police (DPJ) where he was interrogated without his lawyers being able to assist him. They were refused entry to the DPJ premises, which is an infringement of the rights of the defence. A few hours later, the prosecutor of the Mafanco court decided to place Oumar Sylla under a committal order and have him imprisoned in Conakry's central prison.

Oumar Sylla, who was brought before an investigating judge in early October, was initially prosecuted for "criminal participation in a gathering on the public highway, damage to and destruction of public property, manoeuvres and acts tending to endanger public security or to cause serious disturbance to public order". However, after several questions during the investigation, the judge found only one offence against him, namely "unlawful assembly on the public highway".

Since Friday, December 25, 2020, Oumar Sylla has been on hunger strike to protest against his prolonged detention at the Central House in Conakry and to demand a trial without delay. This refusal by the authorities to keep Oumar Sylla in pre-trial detention without setting a trial date resembles a punishment for his commitment against Alpha Condé's third term in office. He ended his strike on 8 January 2021, after the date of his hearing had been scheduled. Very weakened by his strike at the end, he was hospitalised the same day.

On 28 January, after a postponement of the hearing initially scheduled for 14 January, Oumar Sylla was sentenced to 11 months in prison by the Mafanco court in Conakry for "criminal participation in a gathering likely to disturb public order". His lawyers and the prosecutor's office immediately appealed against the decision.

This is not the first time this civil society activist has been arbitrarily arrested and detained. Already arrested on 17 April 2020 on charges of "spreading false information", the charge was deemed unfounded by the criminal division of the Dixinn Court of First Instance. Oumar Sylla was then released on 27 August 2020 after more than four months of abusive imprisonment.

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