Amnesty International condemns “live ammunition” by security forces

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While post-election violence in Guinea has claimed at least 18 lives, according to the government, 30 according to the opposition, since the vote on October 18, Amnesty International said on Sunday, October 25, that security forces had fired bullets. genuine against protesters.

According to the human rights NGO, there is evidence that members of the Guinean security forces fired “live ammunition”. The human rights organization explains that it worked from testimonies, photos and approved videos to come to these conclusions. Fabien Offner, Researcher in West and Central Africa at Amnesty International, explains how they work to verify the information provided: “We go back to the authors of the video and we work with partners who specialize in satellite imagery to confirm this location, once we have had some information about the exact address where these videos were recorded. ”

Analysis of balls and casings

One of the videos they worked on is especially that of Kobaya in the suburb of Conakry. “It is a video that has been approved. This happened in Kobaya on October 21, three people in uniform, one of whom fired three times in the direction of suspected civilians “, the researcher explains to our special correspondent in Conakry, Charlotte idrac.

Their analytical work also focused on bullets and casings in Labe, Central Guinea. “What we learned pretty quickly on the one hand is that the Army had been deployed before the official announcement of the requisition of the Army by the Minister of Territorial Administration. We were given photos and we were able to identify bullets used for AK-47 P-MAC weapons, so Kalashnikov models and these models are carried by members of the Defense and Security Forces. Guineans, Fabien Offner specifies. There are photos and videos that have proven it. ”

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Amnesty also condemns internet interruptions during the riots. According to still preliminary figures from CENI, President Alpha Condé, 82, won a third term with 59.49% of the vote. But the main opposition candidate, Cellou Dalein Diallo, disputes the outcome of the presidential election.

No identified police or gendarme

Albert Damantang Camara, Guinea’s Minister of Public Security and Civil Protection, assures him that there is no impunity if crimes are committed. He asks Amnesty International to provide the evidence that the NGO claims to be withholding so that justice can do its job: “If anyone has pictures or accurate indications that someone is shooting at innocent civilians, we take this evidence to promote justice, said the Minister along with Jeanne Richard. There is no question of compromising or protecting an assassin, whether it is civilian, military, police or gendarme. But simply, we act on the basis of clear procedures, legal texts and, above all, intangible evidence, everyone knows that. The company is systematically open. Now there were no police officers or gendarmes identified by our services firing. “

Promote the truth

As for researcher Fabien Offner, he says he is concerned about the future and hopes that the international community will position itself on the facts reported by the NGO. “Amnesty International can only regret the low visibility of the African Union and ECOWAS [Communauté économique des États d’Afrique de l’Ouest] on this subject. The resumption of demonstrations announced by the FNDC is a new step that still increases the potential for further unrest, he recalls. The worst is already here. Something needs to be done. ”

A common mission from ECOWAS, the African Union and the UN arrived in Conakry on Sunday to try to ease tensions after the election. The National Front for Defense of the Constitution (FNDC) has in fact called for the resumption of demonstrations on Monday to “protest against the third term of President Alpha Condé”.

Minister Albert Damantang Camara, for his part, wants us to take the time to examine the facts: “The time for the media and NGOs is not the time for justice. I believe that all this will only happen in serenity, and the political instrumentalisation of these totally innocent and unknown people who die in the demonstrations does not help to promote the truth. ”

►Read also: Guinea: Ceni commissioners condemn fraud

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