Friday, May 24, 2024

Guinea. Two opposition figures sentenced to one year in prison | Alpha Conde News

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Members of the FNDC opposition coalition who led protests against a third term of President Alpha Condé convicted of inciting insurgency.

A Guinean court has sentenced two critics of President Alpha Condé to one year in prison for inciting an insurgency, because rights groups fear a crackdown on the opposition.

Condé, 82, won a third presidential term in a fiercely contested election on October 18.

He ran after pushing through a new constitution in March last year, which allowed him to bypass the country’s two-term limit, sparking mass protests. Dozens of people have been killed in protests, often in clashes with security forces.

On Wednesday, the co-defendants Souleymane Conde and Youssouf Dioubate were each sentenced to one year in prison for incitement to insurgency.

The couple – both members of the opposition FNDC coalition that led protests against Condé’s third term – were also fined 1,600 euros (nearly $ 2,000) each.

The prosecutor initially pushed for five-year prison sentences and heavier fines.

Hundreds of people were arrested during the electoral period in Guinea, according to Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, who also criticized the use of lethal force against protesters.

Amnesty researcher Fabien Offner was unsure of the exact number of arrests, but said the wave was “unprecedented”.

Police arrested Souleymane Conde and Dioubate in September, as political tensions escalated as the ballot box approached.

A third man, Roger Bamba, who was arrested with them, died in pre-trial detention.

The Guinean government said Bamba died of an illness, but his family insisted he was poisoned and accused the government of committing a “state crime”.

A former opposition activist himself, Condé became Guinea’s first democratically elected president in 2010 and was re-elected in 2015 and then again last year.

Critics accuse him of veering towards authoritarianism.


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