Guinea: Widespread Violence Against Women Committed During Crackdown on Anti-government Protest
Monday, October 19, 2009 9:50 AM

Local NGOs and civil society organizations in Guinea are gathering information on acts of sexual violence committed during a military crackdown against anti-government demonstrators that occurred on 28 September 2009. 33 rapes and 157 deaths have been reported so far, but the actual number of victims is estimated to be much higher. Many women have been afraid to report attacks or seek medical help after some doctors reported that soldiers were forcibly removing patients with rape injuries from hospitals.

On 7 October 2009, junta leader Captain Moussa Dadis Camara denied responsibility for the 28 September attacks and called for a national commission to investigate the situation. A coalition of political parties and other organizations rejected Camara’s plans for a domestic commission in favor of an international investigation.

The attacks will likely strengthen opposition to Camara’s rule, especially given international condemnation of the incident. Immediately following the crackdown, France terminated military cooperation with Guinea and the African Union threatened to impose sanctions on Guinea if Camara does not remove himself from presidential elections by 31 January 2010.

The International Criminal Court is investigating whether the events of 28 September 2009 can be prosecuted under its jurisdiction.

Compiled from: "Guinea: Military Rape & Sexual Violence - Call for Justice and Support," IRIN News (9 October 2009); Adam Nossiter, "Guinea- Seized by Violence, Women are Prey," New York Times (5 October 2009); "ICC Investigates Guinea 'Abuses,'" BBC News (15 October 2009); "ICC Prosecutor to Examine Guinea Killings," Reuters AlertNet (15 October 2009).