Guinea : Justice for Families of Murdered Journalists, Health Professionals

A criminal court in Kankan, Guinea, has sentenced 11 people to life imprisonment for killing eight members of an anti-Ebola sensitisation team, including three journalists in September, 2014. The ruling, which was delivered on April 21, 2015, also asked the convicts to pay 1.5 billion Guinean francs (about US$196,00) in damages and interest.

The trial began in the court of first instance at N’Zérékoré on March 23, 2015, with 25 accused persons appearing. The charge sheet on the Womey killing indicated that 83 suspects were involved 25 of whom were present for the hearing, adding that an arrest warrant had been issued against the 58 who were on the run.

The Attorney General, William Fernandez, had demanded the death sentence for 15 of the accused, but the court decided on a life sentence for 11 of them. 15 others being tried in connection with the case, were acquitted and discharged for lack of evidence.

The killing of the health workers and journalists occurred in September, 2014, in Womey, some 100 kilometres from N’Zérékoré in South-East Guinea.

The accused were charged with “murder, conspiracy to commit murder, criminal association, looting, willfully causing harm and stealing.”

The MFWA welcomes the convictions of the killers of the doctors and journalists who were only rendering voluntary service to humanity. We also commend the authorities in Guinea for their strong commitment to fighting impunity.

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