End to hate speech also key to curbing post-election violence
End to hate speech also key to curbing post-election violence
The world is reaping the terrifying consequences of hate-filled rhetoric that threatens to normalize massive discrimination against marginalized groups, Amnesty International warned today as it launched its annual assessment of human rights.
Nevertheless, the organization found that a growing movement of both first-time and seasoned activists campaigning for social justice provides real hope of reversing the slide towards oppression.
The report, The State of the World’s Human Rights, covers 159 countries and delivers the most comprehensive analysis of the state of human rights in the world today.
Hold Security Forces, Attackers on All Sides to Account for October 2015 Abuses
(Dakar, October 10, 2016) – Authorities in Guinea should take concrete and immediate steps to ensure justice for the victims and the families of those who were shot, raped, or beaten to death during the 2015 presidential election period, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said today in a joint letter to President Alpha Condé.
Guinea’s authorities should ensure that members of the security forces and mobs linked to both the ruling party and opposition groups are held accountable for the killing of 12 people, several rapes, and the looting of several markets in Conakry, the capital, during the election period. To date, no one has been brought to justice in relation to these crimes.
Guinea’s National Assembly vote in favour of a new criminal code abolishing the death penalty is a significant step for human rights in the country, but the code contains provisions which will strengthen the impunity enjoyed by security personnel and repress the expression of dissent, Amnesty International said.
The new criminal code removes the death sentence from the list of applicable penalties and criminalizes torture for the first time. But some of the most frequently used forms of torture are defined as cruel and inhuman treatment, for which the law carries no explicit penalties.
“Fifteen years since it last carried out executions, the promulgation of the law will make Guinea the 19th country in Africa to abolish the death penalty for all crimes, putting itself on the right side of history,” said François Patuel Amnesty International West Africa researcher.
Security forces killed at least three people in election-related violence in Guinea’s capital city Conakry, including two who were shot in the back and one who was beaten to death, Amnesty International revealed today.
Three others were killed in Conakry, and at least 80 injured, in clashes between supporters of rival parties. Across the rest of the country at least seven others died in violence between supporters. The killings happened between 8 and 13 October, immediately before and after the country’s Presidential election. With the election results disputed, and local elections to be held in 2016, there are fears that future protests could lead to more deaths unless security forces show restraint and those suspected of firing on civilians are brought to justice in fair trials before civilian ordinary courts.
Released 3 September 2015: 10 am GMT
Guinean authorities must rein in security forces ahead of October's presidential elections and ensure there is no repeat of excessive use of force during clashes with protesters, Amnesty International said in a briefing published today. Six people died and more than 100 were injured in demonstrations earlier this year.
“Guinea: Preventing the excessive use of force and respecting freedom of peaceful assembly in the 2015 presidential elections and beyond”, examines protests which took place between April and May and warns that, without concerted action by the authorities, there could be more deaths and injuries during demonstrations ahead of October’s vote. It also calls for legal reform after the election to prevent such violence reoccurring in the future, as well as to facilitate peaceful assembly, and ensure accountability for any violation.
Four months before national elections in Guinea, President Alpha Condé should act to strengthen a proposed new law that could help put an end to the country's history of violent demonstrations and reject another that could criminalise dissent, Amnesty International said today.
On Tuesday a bill on maintaining public order was passed by the National Assembly, defining how and when force can and cannot be used to police protests. According to information collected by Amnesty International, at least 357 people have died and thousands have been wounded during demonstrations over the last decade.
“Guinea’s recent past has been marred by the violent repression of demonstrations in which hundreds of people have died. New legislation to ensure force is only ever used as a measure of last resort, and under strict conditions, is welcome but needs to be strengthened and enforced if Guinea’s history of violence is not to repeat itself in the coming elections”, said Francois Patuel, Amnesty International Researcher for francophone West Africa, who is on mission in the country.
Authorities in Guinea must urgently carry out a thorough and independent investigation into the military shooting which resulted in the death of one opposition protester and injured at least 15 others, Amnesty International said today.
A 30 year old man was shot dead from a bullet to the chest on Monday 13 April 2015 during clashes between the security forces and demonstrators at an opposition rally in the capital Conakry. Eleven people including minors have been arrested and charged with participating in a non-authorized demonstration causing public disorder.
“Law enforcement officials must apply non-violent means before resorting to the use of force and firearms, which may be used only if non-violent means have proven to be ineffective. The use of such excessive force, which resulted in one death and several injuries, is deeply worrying” said Gaetan Mootoo, Amnesty International West Africa researcher.
“The Guinean authorities must not bring back the old demons of violence. All those responsible for the excessive use of force must be clearly identified and brought to trial”.
By Dr. Shobana Ananth, Health Network Coordinator and Jacqueline Hansen, Major Campaigns and Women’s Rights Campaigner
The Ebola epidemic is spreading rapidly in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone and threatens to spread further. Over 13,000 cases have been reported in eight countries this year, and almost 5,000 people have died. Current projections suggest there could be 10,000 cases—and 5,000 deaths—per week by December.
Health systems in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone were already weak from years of armed conflict. They suffer from shortages in funding, staff, a lack of health care workers, and poor infrastructure. And now they are collapsing under the strain of responding to the Ebola virus. Without financial support and increased humanitarian and medical staff, the epidemic will continue to expand and many more lives will be lost.