Landmark Guinea massacre trial awaits verdict


Guinea military ruler, Moussa Dadis Camara AFP PHOTO / SEYLLOU (Photo by SEYLLOU DIALLO / AFP)

from MAMADU ONDO in Conakry, Guinea
Guinea Bureau
CONAKRY, (CAJ News) – JUDGES are to deliberate on a verdict in a landmark domestic trial for alleged gross human rights abuses by government security forces in Guinea in 2009.

The closing arguments of all parties in the trial concluded on June 26.

The judges indicated they will deliberate on a verdict until July 31.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) believes the trial examines one of Guinea’s worst episodes of abuse.

In September 2009, Guinean security forces opened fire on a peaceful protest against a bid for the presidency by the then-coup leader Moussa Dadis Camara.

More than 150 people were killed. Over 100 women were raped in a stadium in Conakry, the capital. Security forces allegedly engaged in a cover-up, burying bodies in mass graves.

“All eyes will be on Conakry as the long-awaited verdict will provide a measure of reckoning with the brutal abuses of nearly 15 years ago, the effects of which continue to be felt by victims and survivors,” said Tamara Aburamadan, international justice counsel at Human Rights Watch.

“The Guinean government should support further national accountability efforts to strengthen its system for addressing serious international crimes.”

Guinean victims and survivors have repeatedly called for closure and holding those responsible for the brutal events to account.

The trial is the first of its kind involving human rights violations of this scale in Guinea. It has widely captured the nation’s attention, amid a sustained crackdown on the opposition, dissenters and the media.

This has left hundreds dead and many more injured at the hands of state security forces, according to a report by Amnesty International.

Since the trial commenced in 2022, judges have heard from each of the 11 accused, among them a former president and government ministers, more than 100 victims and over a dozen witnesses.

Witnesses also include high-level government officials.

Before the closing arguments judges heard again from three of the accused.

Thirteen lawyers were involved in the case.

– CAJ News

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