The 28 September 2009 Case: Indictment of a Former Member of the Military for Crimes Committed at the Camp of the Presidential Security Battalion

Press release
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Our organisations [1] are pleased with another major breakthrough in the case of 28 September 2009 massacre. A former member of the military allegedly responsible for acts of torture committed against demonstrators arbitrarily detained at camp Koundara in the weeks following the massacre at the stadium on 28 September, 2009 has been arrested, charged and remanded in custody by the investigating judges in charge of the case.

Our organisations have accompanied over 400 victims before the courts, some among them have been detained at camps Alpha Yaya and Koundara. This arrest is a major step in ascertaining the truth, highlighting the fact that the crimes committed in this case and the individuals who are allegedly responsible, are not only limited to the incidents which took place at the stadium in the morning of 28 September, but also for crimes perpetrated on the following days, said Souhayr Belhassen, FIDH Honorary President, on her return from a mission to Conakry.

The International Commission of Inquiry in charge of investigating crimes committed in the 28 September case had actually established, based on its investigation, that dozens of persons had been arrested, detained and tortured for several days or weeks in various detention centres, particularly at camp Alpha Yaya Diallo, camp Koundara, the PM3 gendarmerie barracks and the CMIS Cameroon Barracks. In some of these camps, women have been detained for days and repeatedly subjected to rape and other sexual violence.

Located in the centre of the city, camp Koundara housed part of the military personnel of the Autonomous Presidential Security Battalion (BASP) and many persons have been detained and tortured for days and weeks following the massacre at the stadium. These people, many of whom are still reported missing, have been victims of acts of torture and degrading and inhuman treatments. Those who have been released, with huge amounts of money requested by the military from their families, reported having been victims or witnesses of rapes, acts of torture and summary executions there.

Several victims we represent in the case have been detained at camp Koundara and formally blame this individual. It is thanks to the mobilisation of the victims and the associations which support them that the investigating judges have been alerted and that such a decisive step has been taken, declared Mr Drissa Traoré, FIDH Vice President.

We hope that this recent arrest will enable the investigating judges to establish the responsibility of other persons in the 28 September case. It is imperative that the investigations bring to the fore the magnitude of crimes committed, not only at the stadium but everywhere else in Conakry in the days that followed. The arrest marks a decisive step in establishing the truth since it provides evidence of the implication of all ranks in the army in an extremely far-reaching and organised manner of the repression that followed the stadium massacre, declared Thierno Maadjou Sow, OGDH President.

This recent questioning of a member of the Guinean armed forces is taking place at a time when the inquiry opened on crimes committed at the stadium in Conakry on 28 September and in the following days has seen significant progress since, in the last few months, the former vice president of the military junta then in power, Mamadouba Toto Camara, and several other army officers were indicted. In their last report “Guinea: Time for justice?” (May 2015), FIDH and OGDH review the progress made in the proceedings and call for the continuation of the investigation in view of a fair trial, as serious as the gravity of crimes and that lives up to the victims’ expectations, within a reasonable time frame.

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