Massacre in Guinea
News24 is reporting that:
More than 150 people were killed by security forces and more than 1 250 were injured during the repression of a peaceful demonstration in a Conakry stadium, according to the Guinean Organisation for the Defence of Human Rights.
During December of last year Captain Moussa Dadis Camara took over the government of Guinea in a bloodless coup after the death of the long time dictator Lansana Conté. The coup was originally met with euphoria and initially Dadis stated that he wasn’t going to run in the presidential election (to take place within 60 days) since he had “no interest” in accumulating power.
But then disconcerting things started happening: heavily armed soldiers carjacked vehicles and raided shops and homes. Groups of soldiers accused of coup plotting or nothing at all were detained without charge and shipped off to a notorious island prison while hushed family members spoke of the injuries they’d sustained in custody.
Human rights lawyers and heads of political parties received intimidating visits and calls by soldiers questioning their conduct or “inviting” them for a chat at the military camp-cum-seat of government.
This inital clampdown then spread to the general public with the banning of political rallies, targeting dissident groups, and intimidating human rights workers.
The recent massacre is just the culmination of events that has been happening for the past ten months. Of the massacre, blogger Sokari quotes Human Rights Watch (a good, yet extremely flawed Western human rights group):
Eyewitnesses and medical personnel told Human Rights Watch that many of the bodies of protesters were riddled with bullet holes. Others had stab wounds from knives and bayonets. A number of women taking part in the demonstration were stripped naked and sexually assaulted by security forces, victims and witnesses said…………..A second witness to the violence said:
“I saw the Red Berets [an elite unit within the military] catch some of the women who were trying to flee, rip off their clothes, and stick their hands in their private parts. Others beat the women, including on their genitals. It was pathetic – the women were crying out.”……….Another eyewitness said: “I saw several women stripped and then put inside the military trucks and taken away. I don’t know what happened to them.”
Dadis still plans to celebrate the country’s independence day which will more than likely create a space for more protests against the government.