A court in Conakry Guinea has jailed protest leaders for up to one year. The court found them guilty of spearheading a wave of unauthorized protests on October 14 claiming 10 lives.
Supporters say their spirit is not cast down. Abdoulaye Oumou Sow is a journalist and blogger. He was one of three found not guilty.
“I feel like I am on the outside of the world. I do not feel liberated because my comrades are in prison. I go out with great difficulty because Guinean citizens died without any investigation opened. I go out more committed to defend this freedom, to defend this constitution. Because I think that the survival of the nation depends on it. We must defend this freedom for which the comrades have fallen, for which the comrades are in prison. We must defend it even at the cost of our lives, for those citizens who died under the bullets of the police,’‘ Oumou Sow said.
For Asmaou Diallo, wife of one of the convicted men “we will continue to stay strong because they can not be in jail while we are defeated. fight they have everything to fight, so it’s up to us all to continue it.”
Abdourahamane Sanoh, Coordinator of the National Front for the Defense of the Constitution, an alliance of opposition groups, was given a 12-month term, and four other leaders got six months.
Three other defendants were found not guilty. Lawyers for the defendants, say they will appeal the ruling.
Rights group Amnesty International has criticised the ruling. It said ‘‘no one should be detained for having organized or called for a peaceful demonstration.’‘
Guinea’s President Alpha Conde plans to amend the constitution to avoid a ban on seeking a third term in office.