Conakry will judge around sixty opponents of President Condé’s third term ~ #AFP:

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The Guinean government has announced that around sixty people would be tried in connection with the protest and the unrest that accompanied the presidential election and the constitutional referendum which led in 2020 to a third term of Alpha Condé as head of state.

All of these people, including opposition figures, are believed to have been detained for several months.

Guinea was the scene between October 2019 and October 2020 of intense agitation around the candidacy of Mr. Condé, 83 years old today, for a controversial third term. The protest, led by the opposition and part of civil society and several times brutally repressed, has resulted in dozens of civilian deaths and a few deaths in the ranks of the security forces.

Mr. Condé submitted in March 2020 a draft of a new Constitution to a referendum coupled with legislative and enamelled violence. The adoption allowed him to invoke this new Constitution to overcome the two-term limit and run for the presidential election in October 2020, again surrounded by violence.

He was declared the winner by the Constitutional Court. The opposition denounced an “electoral coup”. The United States, France and the European Union have expressed doubts about the credibility of these polls.

Hundreds of people were arrested during the mobilization and after the presidential election, according to human rights defenders.

Government spokesman Tibou Kamara said in a statement Friday evening that 57 of them were being referred to court. Eight of them will be tried for the attack on an ore train in which three gendarmes and a soldier were killed in a suburb of Conakry in the grip of clashes a few days after the presidential election, he said.

The spokesperson also evokes the case of Ibrahima Chérif Bah and Ousmane Gaoual Diallo, officials of the Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea (UFDG), the party led by the main challenger of Mr. Condé in the presidential election, Cellou Dalein Diallo. Along with other opponents, they were arrested after the presidential election and charged, according to their lawyers, with the manufacture, possession and use of war and light weapons, and attacks on the fundamental interests of the nation.

Forty-nine defendants will be tried in this case, according to the government spokesperson. In both cases, 40 people were dismissed and were released, he added.

Human rights defenders denounce the authoritarian hardening of Mr. Condé’s regime. Mr. Condé “reassures national and international opinion” as to his attachment “to respect for Human Rights and human dignity,” assures the spokesperson.

The opponent of Mr. Condé in the presidential election and the collective which led the mobilization against the third term, the National Front for the Defense of the Constitution (FNDC), denounced the efforts of the government to make believe in the independence of Justice.

Cellou Dalein Diallo spoke on Twitter of “operation of communication”, and predicted that the judgments to come would be “dictated” by Mr. Condé.

“In this case, justice has never been and will never be independent. It will act according to the instructions of dictator Alpha Condé”, added the FNDC on Facebook.

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Source: VOA-AFP.

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