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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 March, 2005, 17:28 GMT
Joy at demise of Guinea hard man
Moussa Sampil
Mr Sampil is unlikely to get a third stint as security minister
Lawyers, journalists and students have been celebrating in Guinea after the sacking of Security Minister Moussa Sampil on Tuesday night.

The BBC's Alhassan Sillah in Conakry, says that Mr Sampil ordered the arrest of many people after an alleged attempt to kill the president in January.

These included a lawyer and a journalist, prompting both groups to campaign against him.

All of those detained were subsequently released without charge.

'Black sheep'

A knowledgeable source at the presidency told our correspondent that the continuing boycott by lawyers of court sessions, and the projection by the local press of Mr Sampil as the government's "black sheep", hastened his departure.
Guinea's President Lansana Conte
President Conte won a third term in 2003 elections despite poor health
"The government realised that it was now on the back foot given that Sampil had antagonised these two important institutions," he said.

It was Moussa Sampil's second stint as security minister, and the second time that he has been sacked by President Lansana Conte.

"I am very happy that Mr Sampil has been removed. I saw on campus military and policemen beat up students in what was clearly an abuse of justice," one student said.

"Sampil is gone. It is good for press freedom, freedom of expression and human rights in this country," said a journalist.


SEE ALSO:
'One hundred' arrests in Guinea
25 Jan 05 |  Africa
Charges over Guinea 'coup plot'
28 Apr 04 |  Africa
Guinea premier steps down
30 Apr 04 |  Africa
Country profile: Guinea
09 Nov 04 |  Country profiles


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