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Guinea opposition spokesperson dies while in police detention

Guinea opposition spokesperson dies while in police detention
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Copyright © africanews
JOHN WESSELS/AFP or licensors

Guinea

Guinea opposition spokesperson, Roger Bamba, has died while in police detention according to family members.

Bamba, who was the member of Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea (UFDG) party, fell ill while in police custody on Wednesday and was later taken to the hospital where he later died on the same day.

His family members including his wife Christine Mamy are accusing the police of state crimes.

The UFDG said Thursday in a statement that it had learned the "sad news", adding that they still cannnot explain or describe the illness that took Bamba's life. They claim the late was in good health before his arrest.

The party later on Wednesday denounced a wave of arbitrary arrests and the illegal detentions of its supporters by the government led by President Alpha Conde.

The arrests came after President Alpha Conde, 82, won a controversial third term after topping an October 18 poll with 59.5 percent of the votes.

The country slipped into violence in the aftermath of the poll, when UFDG leader Cellou Dalein Diallo, 68, proclaimed himself victorious and alleged voter fraud.

The government said at least 21 people died in subsequent clashes between Diallo supporters and security forces. The UFDG party put the death toll at 46, however.

Political tension in Guinea centers on Conde's third term, against which there have been rolling protests since October 2019.

The president pushed through a new constitution in March which he argued would modernize the country. But it also allowed him to bypass a two-term limit for presidents.

A former opposition leader, Conde became Guinea's first democratically-elected president in 2010 and won re-election in 2015, but critics accuse him of veering towards authoritarianism.