Guinea: Premeditated Killings and Rapes of Protestors by Government Forces
Wednesday, November 4, 2009 2:55 PM

4 November 2009

In Guinea on 28 September 2009, soldiers, primarily from the elite presidential guard, killed and raped protestors in a sports stadium after blocking the exits. Activists claim that 157 people were killed, while government officials state that fewer people were killed and most were trampled to death, not killed by government forces.

The protestors had gathered to demonstrate dissent against the possible presidential election run of Captain Moussa Dadis Camara in next year's elections. Dadis Camara claimed power after the December 2008 death of then-president Lasana Conte and, despite stating that he would not run for re-election, has made a series of statements that may indicate otherwise.

Guinean activists and international human rights groups argue that the mass killing and rapes were premeditated and planned by the government, whose armed forces moved through the trapped crowd firing shots 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," said Corinne Dufka of Human Rights Watch. 

On 28 October, one month after the violence, activists and unions called for a nationwide strike to remember the victims of the attacks. "We, the women of Guinea, are wounded in our souls and humiliated by the events of 28 September," stated Diaraye Haidara, a Guinean activist.

The European Union reacted by putting an arms embargo on Guinea and sanctions on the ruling junta led by Dadis Camara. 

Compiled from: BBC News, “Guinea forces planned ‘crack down’” (28 October 2009).