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Guinea: Police deny death of seven people during protests

Guinea: Police deny death of seven people during protests
Police officers walk during mass demonstrations after the publication of...   -  
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JOHN WESSELS/AFP or licensors


The police in Guinea denied on Thursday that seven people were killed during demonstrations against the junta the previous day, as the opposition has said.

"The figure given by the organisers of the demonstration is false and is only imaginary," police spokesman Mory Kaba told AFP.

"They simply want to discredit the authorities who are doing everything to avoid deaths during demonstrations," he said.

The Forces Vives, an opposition group made up of parties, unions and civil society organisations, said seven people were killed and 32 wounded by gunfire on Wednesday.

Protests in Guinea routinely result in clashes with security forces. The toll of the violence is still difficult to establish precisely.

The Forces Vives have called for the resumption of demonstrations for the release of three civil society figures who have been imprisoned for several months, as well as all prisoners whom the collective considers political.

The collective is calling for the opening of a credible dialogue with a view to the rapid return of civilians to the leadership of the country, as well as the lifting of the ban on all demonstrations introduced in 2022 by the junta in power since a coup in 2021.

The three civil society figures were released on Wednesday evening. Oumar Sylla alias Foniké Mangué, Ibrahima Diallo and Mamadou Billo Bah are leaders of the National Front for the Defence of the Constitution (FNDC), an organisation dissolved by the junta but which is part of the Forces Vives.

Ibrahima Diallo told AFP on Thursday that he had fought for "freedom, human rights, justice and democracy".

"If you are sent to prison for these reasons and you get out, you must continue the fight," he said.

Mr Diallo said he had placed a lot of hope in the discourse of the military when they took power.

But, he continued, the current situation "is more (serious) than the mistakes (that prevailed in the) past" in a country ruled for decades by authoritarian regimes and plagued by unrest in the last years of President Alpha Condé, who will be overthrown in 2021 by Colonel Mamady Doumbouya.

The Bar Association said in a statement that certain acts against political figures or civil society actors "give the impression that the judiciary continues to be an instrument in the hands of those in political power. He announced a "day without hearings" on 15 May.

The military has pledged under international pressure to hand over to elected civilians by the end of 2024, time for deep reforms, they say.

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