ICC prosecutor condemns Guinea post-election violence

[JURIST] The deputy prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] on Friday issued a statement [text, PDF] lamenting the killing of seven people in a post-election violence in Guinea. The prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda [official profile], urged security forces to refrain from using excessive force against civilians. The statement asserted that the ICC would evaluate all reported acts of violence resulting from the crackdown. The UN Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) [official website] also declared its concern over the actions of the security forces [UN News Centre report] in reacting to election demonstrations. The Guinean government declared a state of emergency on Wednesday, three days after Alpha Conde was declared the winner of the November 7 run-off election. The OHCHR reports excessive use of force against unarmed civilians by the Force Speciale de Securisation du Processus Electoral, a special police unit that was formed to secure the electoral process. Additionally, there have been reports of ethnically motivated violence between the Peuhl and Malinke groups. Amnesty International [advocacy website] also icalled on Guinean authorities to halt killings [text], arbitrary arrests and torture that have resulted from post-election crackdown. The state of emergency will be in effect until the election results are confirmed by the Supreme Court, expected to be next Monday.

November's election ended two years of military rule under a transitional government formed by military captain Moussa Dadis Camara [BBC profile], who staged a coup in the wake of the death of former president Lansana Conte [Guardian profile], the nation's ruler for 24 years. In October, the OHCHR expressed concern that security forces in Guinea "committed serious human rights violations" [JURIST report] in subduing demonstrations. In September, two Guinean election officials were convicted of election fraud [JURIST report] and sentenced to a year in jail in connection with irregularities that arose in the June presidential primary election, one incident in a string of controversies responsible for multiple delays of the runoff, which was initially scheduled for July [Reuters report]. In May, the ICC sent a delegation from the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) [official website] to Guinea to further investigate the killing [JURIST report] of more than 150 pro-democracy protesters in Conakry in September 2009. The protesters had rallied against Camara, who announced in October that he intended to push elections forward three months and stand for election, breaking a promise not to run made shortly after he took power. Camara was ultimately forced into exile two months later after an assassination attempt staged by one of his aides.

 

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