Guinea: Major breakthrough in the case of the 28 September 2009 Conakry Stadium Massacre, with the indictment of a minister in office

Our organisations welcome the indictment of Lieutenant-Colonel Moussa Tiegboro Camara for his suspected role in the serious Human Rights violations committed on 28 September 2009 in the Conakry Stadium. Lieutenant-Colonel Camara, who holds a ministerial position and is presently Director of the National Agency for fighting drug trafficking, organised crime and terrorism, testified at length today by the examining magistrates in charge of the case.

On 1 February 2012, Lieutenant-Colonel Moussa Tiegboro Camara was indicted for his suspected role in the serious Human Rights violations committed on September 28, 2009 in the Conakry stadium. Lieutenant-Colonel Camara, who holds a ministerial position and is presently Director of the National Agency for drug enforcement, organised crime and terrorism, testified at length today by the examining magistrates in charge of the case.

The indictment of Moussa Tiegboro Camara, who was implicated in the United Nations International Commission of Inquiry’s report as being one of the main persons responsible for the serious Human Rights violations committed in Conakry Stadium on September 28, 2009 and the subsequent days, is a positive signal for the victims of those crimes, and who are still waiting for the authors of those crimes to be brought to justice, declared Souhayr Belhassen, FIDH President.

On February 8, 2010, the General Prosecutor of the Conakry Court of Appeals, had referred the case of “Aboubakar Diakité alias Toumba and all others” to three examining magistrates, in order to determine individual responsibilities in the events of September 28, 2009, during which over 157 persons were killed, dozens of women raped and subjected to other sexual crimes, over a hundred persons disappeared, and hundreds of others were injured and traumatised.

The International Federation for Human Rights Organisations (FIDH), the Guinean Organisation for the Defence of Human Rights (OGDH), victims’ rights associations, and 67 individual victims, joined the case as Plaintiffs and give support to the 192 victims who to date, are mentioned in the case. This indictment is an important step, which must lead to the establishment of all responsibilities and the holding of a just and fair trial in Guinea, which is the earnest wish of all Guineans” declared OGDH and the victims’ associations. At a time when Guinea is moving towards the establishment of the rule of law and national reconciliation, the indictment of a minister in office shows the courage of the magistrates and the determination of the authorities of Guinea to fight against impunity and to guarantee the independence of the judiciary," declared Mr. Patrick Baudouin, FIDH Honorary President, in charge of the FIDH Legal Action Group (LAG).

However, in view of the position occupied by Lieutenant-Colonel Camara in the government of Guinea and his rank in the military hierarchy, our organisations are extremely concerned that there is a great risk for interference in the judicial proceedings. Our organisations call upon the authorities of Guinea to guarantee, in all circumstances, that the course of justice will proceed unhampered. In particular, our organisations call upon the government to ensure the safety of all involved, notably the examining magistrates, and take all necessary steps to prevent any obstacles to the emergence of truth.

In this fight against the impunity of the authors of serious Human Rights violations, the contribution and actions of civil society organisations, human rights defenders, victims and their legal representatives, complementary to that of the political and judicial authorities, is essential. In that respect, these brave actors must be given protection and support by the Guinean authorities and the international community.

In a country that has for decades known a succession of serious Human Rights violations that have remained unpunished, the advance of justice is fundamental. The establishment of a Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission is the second important stage, which should enable Guinea to face up to its past. The most senior authorities of the State confirmed to us last December that security, truth, justice and reconciliation were their priorities, and that they were determined to move forward along those lines, declared Ms. Belhassen, FIDH President.

Our organisations call on the international community to give determined support to the efforts of the Guinean political and judicial authorities towards, notably, the independence of justice, the fight against impunity, and the establishment of a national mechanism for Truth, Justice and Reconciliation.

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