Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the situation of human rights in Guinea (A/HRC/19/49)

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In her previous report on Guinea (A/HRC/16/26), the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights made several recommendations to the Government, including that it take the necessary steps to fight impunity, prosecute the perpetrators of the human rights violations of 28 September 2009, establish a national human rights institution in conformity with the Paris Principles, follow up on the universal periodic review recommendations and undertake reform of the security sector consistent with human rights.

During the period from January to December 2011, the Government took steps towards implementing some of the above-mentioned recommendations, including on security sector reform. Nonetheless, reports continue on human rights violations, some of which were investigated by the Office of the High Commissioner (OHCHR), including allegations of arbitrary arrest and detention, harassment and threats against human rights defenders, and breaches of the right to freedoms of assembly and association. Most of the allegations of human rights violations were attributed to the security forces.

OHCHR in Guinea collaborated with the Government of Guinea, civil society organizations and other national and international stakeholders to elaborate strategies to address human rights challenges in the country. The transitional Parliament, the Conseil national de transition, adopted a bill to set up an independent national human rights institution, which was presented to the President for final adoption and promulgation into law. The steering committee overseeing security sector reform presented its final report to the President. With regard to national reconciliation, the President appointed two religious personalities as co-chairpersons of the provisional national commission on reconciliation.

These positive developments represent important steps towards the launching of a transitional justice process.

Despite these positive steps, major shortcomings remain in the follow-up to human rights violations. In particular, the commitment of the Government to prioritize the fight against impunity, reiterated by the High Commissioner during her visit to Guinea in March 2011, has not been followed up, as illustrated by the slow rate of prosecution of the presumed authors of crimes against humanity committed during the events of 28 September 2009.

The efforts of OHCHR in Guinea to assist the Government to address human rights issues have also been undermined by contextual and structural challenges, notably the slow pace of political transition and the delay in the holding of parliamentary elections, required for important institutional, judicial and legislative reforms to be undertaken. The report concludes with recommendations for the Government of Guinea and the international community on measures to be taken to address the human rights challenges.