Guinea: Junta Sued for Death of Demonstrators

The National Front for the Defense of the Constitution (FNDC) and the families of the victims of the demonstrations of July and August 2022 have filed a complaint against the president of the transition before the French courts. They accuse Mamadi Doumbouya of “complicity in homicides and torture” following the assassination of at least ten young people during demonstrations organised by the FNDC in Conakry.

The family of Abdoul Gadiri Diallo, a 16-year-old boy killed in Hamdallaye during one of the demonstrations called on by the FNDC, agrees with the choice French justice. Abdoulaye Djibril Diallo, one of the victim’s cousins, said that the complaint should have been filed in Guinea, but, as he explains, “there have been complaints filed here in court, but so far, there has been no follow-up. This is why it was deemed necessary to file it before the French courts.

The same optimism is shared by the family of Lamarana Diallo, another young man who was shot dead in Koloma, on the outskirts of Conakry, during a demonstration organised by the FNDC last month. His brother Amadou Diouldé Bah also says he has more confidence in the new legal procedure in France. “On the French side, there is great hope. But I hope that Guinean justice will be put back on track.”

The young Lamarana Diallo was killed on his way back from the mosque, says Amadou Diouldé Bah: “That day, there was no demonstration planned, he went to the mosque, he was in front of us. And when we got home, we learned that he had been hit by a bullet.”

The FNDC said it did not not want to comment on the procedure. The complaint nevertheless relies on the universal jurisdiction of the French courts, which allows them to hear cases relating to acts of torture – even if they are committed abroad, by a foreigner, on a stranger.

It has been said that Colonel Mamadi Doumbouya may be a French passport holder, meaning that France has an obligation to act.

The FDNC’s lawyer Vincent Brengarth said he is waiting for the prosecutor to open a preliminary investigation: “There are already certain elements which can be brought to the attention of the French courts. The families of the victims will be at the disposal of justice to be able to give their testimonies. Collaboration from the Guinean justice is also a possibility, even if we obviously see political obstacles in it.”

The complaint explains that there is no prospect of prosecution in the country, as the Guinean courts are not independent. As for an immunity for President Doumbouya, “he came to power by a coup d’etat, he is therefore not legitimate”,  lawyers have said.

with wires

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