African Commission Press Release on the Human Rights Situation in the Republic of Guinea
International Justice and Human Rights Researcher
Global Human Rights Defence
In a press release published on September 5th by the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, the Rapporteur on the Republic of Guinea, Honourable Commissioner Hatem Essaiem, and the Special Rapporteur on Prisons, Conditions of Detention and Police Action in Africa, Honourable Commissioner Maria Teresa Manuela of the African Commission shared their concerns over human rights violations in the Republic of Guinea. (African Commission, 2022)
Rapporteurs expressed deep concern over violations of freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly, as well as the right to life and physical integrity which curb the space of political opposition and civil society. Peaceful demonstrations and political activities continue to be violently suppressed through excessive use of force by security forces resulting in arrests, injuries and several deaths. (African Commission, 2022) In condemning such violations, the African Commission recalled that the Republic of Guinea must comply with its obligations under the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, which protects, among others, the right to life (Article 4), to personal liberty and protection from arbitrary arrest (Article 6), to free expression (Article 9), to freedom of association (Article 10) and of assembly (Article 11).
Furthermore, the Republic of Guinea should fulfil its obligations under International Law. As a signatory party, the country is bound to Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) which provides that “Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention. No one shall be deprived of his liberty except on such grounds and in accordance with such procedures as are established by law.” The Covenant also guarantees the rights to life (Article 6), the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion (Article 17), the right to freedom of expression (Article 19), of peaceful assembly (Article 20), and of association (Article 21).
That said, the African Commission provided a set of recommendations to the Republic of Guinea to improve the human rights situation in the country. The African Commission called “on the Guinean authorities to take the necessary measures to guarantee freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly, the right to life and the physical integrity of all persons on its territory” and “on the state party to adopt the strategies necessary to restore peace and security”. Being aware that restoring peace is not possible without justice, the African Commission required prompt investigation into acts of violence to bring perpetrators to justice. (African Commission, 2022)
Sources and Further Readings:
African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (September 5, 2022), Press release on the human rights situation in the Republic of Guinea, African Commission, retrieved on September 5th, 2022, from https://www.achpr.org/pressrelease/detail?id=653.
The African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, adopted June 27th, 1981, OAU Doc. CAB/LEG/67/3 rev. 5, 21 I.L.M. 58 (1982), entered into force October 21st, 1986, https://www.achpr.org/legalinstruments/detail?id=49.
The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, adopted and opened for signature, ratification and accession by General Assembly resolution 2200A (XXI) of 16 December 1966, entry into force 23 March 1976, https://www.ohchr.org/en/instruments-mechanisms/instruments/international-covenant-civil-and-political-rights.