Guinea: Further attacks on freedom of expression and association

As a reaction to the dissolution of the National Front for the Defence of the Constitution (FNDC) and the summoning of a journalist to a military camp, Habibatou Gologo, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s West and Central Africa office, has said:

” On Monday 8 August the Guinean transitional authorities decided to dissolve the National Front for the Defence of the Constitution (FNDC), which they describe as a “de facto movement” and accuse it of having “always been known for violence against people, the degradation and destruction of public and private property, and acts of incitement to hatred […]”. Amnesty International is surprised by these accusations as it has always monitored and documented recent FNDC demonstrations, which were peaceful in nature. However, it does note the excessive use of force and repression during these demonstrations.

“This decision comes at a time when Mohamed Bangoura, editor of the news website “Mosaïque”, was summoned to the premises of the military intelligence directorate of the army headquarters last weekend following the publication of an article incriminating the army in the disappearance of a truck containing painkillers in a camp. At the same time, another journalist, Mamoudou Boulère Diallo of Espace TV, was physically attacked by a military team. These actions constitute a step backwards for press freedom and freedom of expression.

“Amnesty International calls on the Guinean authorities to immediately end disproportionate restrictions on the rights to freedom of expression and freedom of association and to respect the right of the Guinean people and civil society to freely express their views, including through the media”.

Further information

The FNDC Movement (National Front for the Defence of the Constitution) is a coalition of civil society organisations and political parties that initiated a series of demonstrations in October 2019 in Guinea to protest against the amendment or adoption of a new Constitution. Since then, the FNDC has been at the heart of most of the demonstrations to denounce several human rights violations, the latest of which dates back to the end of July, despite being banned by the authorities. Challenging this dissolution, the FNDC is again planning demonstrations for 17 August 2022. There is a high risk that this will be banned, as the authorities had decided in May 2022 to ban all demonstrations in the streets and public places.