Guinea: Sekou Resco Camara dismissed and has to answer personally for the consequences of his acts

Press release
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Sekou Resco Camara has been dismissed as governor of Conakry by Presidential Decree of 19 March 2014. Mr Camara was charged following a complaint filed by FIDH and OGDH for his alleged responsibility regarding acts of torture. Our organisations call upon Guinean authorities to take all necessary measures to ensure Mr Camara’s legal representation.

Despite the absence of a direct link between judicial proceedings and Commander Sekou Resco Camara’s dismissal, this event marks a strong signal in favour of the due exercise of justice, said Mr. Patrick Baudouin, FIDH Honorary President, in charge of FIDH’s Legal Action Group (LAG) and lawyer for Guinean victims of abuse. To ensure the proper functioning of justice, all those indicted for serious human rights violations must be suspended from official duties until an independent court rules on their individual criminal responsibility, he added.

Our organisations have taken note of Sekou Resco Camara’s discharge but remain concerned about his appointment as a diplomatic representative abroad. This role enables Mr. Camara to leave Guniean territory, which could result to his non-appearance before the courts, further weakening the national justice system.

We cannot believe that Mr. Resco Camara, who has been formally charged by the Guinean prosecutor with extremely serious events, might be appointed to another position. Such an appointment would allow him to escape justice and would be viewed as a licence to impunity. Although Mr Camara should be presumed innocent until proven guilty, he must likewise remain at the disposal of the courts to ensure that justice be done, said Drissa Traoré, FIDH Vice-President.

M. Sekou Resco Camara dans la cour du Tribunal de première instance de Dixinn, se rendant chez le juge - 14 février 2013

As a result of a complaint filed by FIDH and OGDH with Dixinn’s (Conakry II) Court of First Instance on 18 May 2012, the state attorney opened an investigation on 29 May 2012 for “illegal arrest, forcible confinement, intentional assault and battery, abuse of authority, and crimes and offences committed in performing his duties”. Commander Sékou Resco Camara, General Nouhou Thiam and Commander Aboubacar Sidiki Camara, also known as "De Gaulle", were charged on 14 February, 25 February and 31 July 2013 respectively, regarding evidence collected during the inquiry process.

According to information provided to the Court in October 2010, members of the presidential guard close to the acting President of the transitional government are alleged to have arbitrailry arrested and detained several individuals. These individuals were then reportedly tortured in the presence and upon the instructions of General Nouhou Thiam and Commander Aboubacar Sidiki Camara, alias “De Gaulle”.

Despite their rapid progress at the outset, proceedings initiated in May 2010 seem to have come to a standstill. A formal letter of request was addressed in August 2013 to Commander Cissé, citing officers of the Hamdallaye squadron police station, where the offences were committed. This letter has so far remained unanswered. Moreover, Camp Commander Gabriel Tamba Diawara, from the camp in which 17 victims who joined the proceedings as civil parties with FIDH and OGDH were transferred and detained for 48hours, has so far not been invited for questioning by the judge.

Since his appointment in January 2014, the new Guinean Minister for Justice has on several occasions clearly stated his determination to fight impunity. This case is emblematic of the political violence and impunity that have long characterised Guinea, and we hope that this case might now be brought to a close quickly in light of the seriousness of the crimes and the right of victims to justice within a reasonable time, said Thierno Maadjou Sow, OGDH President.

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