Page last updated at 11:54 GMT, Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Guinea forces 'planned crackdown'

A woman cries in Conakry, 02/10
Thousands of distraught relatives identified bodies after the crackdown

A deadly crackdown on protesters in Guinea in September was "premeditated and pre-planned at the highest level", Human Rights Watch has told the BBC.

Soldiers deployed at the sports stadium where protesters had gathered blocked the exits before systematically killing and raping protesters, the group says.

Activists say 157 people were killed but officials say far fewer died and claim most were trampled to death.

The EU is the latest international body to put sanctions on the ruling junta.

The bloc put an arms embargo on the country and imposed sanctions against its military leaders.

EU officials have joined pressure groups, including US-based Human Rights Watch (HRW), in calling for members of the junta to be tried for human rights violations.

'Open wounds'

HRW's Corinne Dufka, who led the group's research, told the BBC's Network Africa programme that the soldiers deployed at the Conakry stadium on 28 September were mainly from the elite presidential guard.

We, the women of Guinea, are wounded in our souls and humiliated by the events of 28 September
Rights activist Diaraye Haidara

She said they blocked key exits before moving through the crowd, firing at protesters and raping women.

"The fact that the rape happened, that it broke out at the same time, suggests that there was some kind of at least permission given," she said.

The group spoke to dozens of rape victims - many of them telling of gang rapes and saying that the troops had referred to their ethnicity as they were carrying out the attacks.

It is exactly a month since the crackdown, and unions and activists have called for a nationwide strike to remember the victims.

"We, the women of Guinea, are wounded in our souls and humiliated by the events of 28 September," rights activist Diaraye Haidara told the Associated Press news agency.

"A day of remembrance will certainly make us feel better but it will never heal our open wounds from these rapes."

The rally was called to protest at reports that junta leader Captain Moussa Dadis Camara was planning to stand in presidential elections next year.

After seizing power in December 2008 following the death of long-time leader Lansana Conte, he pledged not to contest elections but has since made a series of contradictory statements about his intentions.

Following the stadium killings, he has described himself as a "hostage" - both to the Guinean people and to the "unstructured" army.

Print Sponsor

Guinea embargo over 'atrocities'
17 Oct 09 |  Africa
Guinea 'facing new dictatorship'
12 Oct 09 |  Africa
In pictures: Guinea mourns victims
02 Oct 09 |  In Pictures
Eyewitness: 'Bodies were falling'
29 Sep 09 |  Africa
Guinea's erratic military ruler
29 Sep 09 |  Africa
Country profile: Guinea
09 Feb 11 |  Country profiles


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2019 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific