(Conakry, Paris) — After 11 years of Guinean authorities’ political inaction in the case of the infamous 28th of September massacre, our organisations condemn the stalling tactics employed by the Guinean government and demand that a trial be opened before the end of the year. Today, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), the Association of Victims, Parents and Friends of 28 September 2009 (AVIPA), and the Guinean Association for the Defence of Human Rights (OGDH) launch a campaign urging Guinean authorities to deliver justice to victims and their families, over a decade after the 2009 massacre.
Despite positive steps forward including the conclusion of the primary investigation which was closed in late 2017, and repeated promises from the Guinean government to put those responsible on trial for the 28th of September massacre without delay — June 2020 being the most recent proposed date — our organisations have observed a clear lack of political will. For years, international partners have worked with the authorities to establish the conditions necessary to hold a fair trial. Alas, despite this joint effort which included training judges, putting in place a security plan and financing the construction of a new courthouse, no action has been taken on the case.
"Victims and their families need to know that the international community supports them and that, despite the government’s unkept promises, they will see justice carried out,” declared Asmaou Diallo, president of AVIPA.
Ahead of the presidential elections slated for 18 October, stakes are high for victims and their families. Some have been harassed and even threatened. Since 2009, many victims have died, while justice has yet to be carried out. For the families of these victims, it is essential that the trial take place, that they receive reparations, and that those responsible answer for their actions. If the situation remains the same and no tangible steps are taken to initiate legal proceedings before the end of the year, the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), which has carried out a preliminary examination of the situation in Guinea since 2009, must take necessary measures and open an investigation, in line with the principle of complementarity.
With the #JusticeforConakry campaign, we wish to honor the stories of victims and their families and we call on the Guinean government and the international community to develop and put in place a clear roadmap and timetable that will lead to a fair and just trial.