Three women activists who were arrested and detained during a demonstration against President Alpha Conde’s third term agenda, have regained their freedom after spending 19 days in detention at the Conakry Central Prison.
Nene Camara, Yarie Camara and Mariam Diallo, all activists of the Front National pour la Defense de la Constitution (FNDC), the group coordinating the nation-wide anti-third term campaign, were found guilty of “directly inciting a mob” during the demonstration in the Conakry suburb of Bonfi on February 19, 2020. They were however handed six months suspended sentences each, thus sparing them from actually serving time in prison.
The decision of the Magistrate Court of Mafanco on March 9, was hailed by Thierno Souleymane Barry, one of the lawyers of the accused..
“We are satisfied because the place of these ladies is not at the prison, but rather with their families,” said the defense lawyer.
The three activists join a tall list of victims of the Guinean authorities’ clampdown on groups and individuals opposed to President Alpha Conde’s attempt to remove term limits from Guinea’s constitution via a controversial referendum to enable him stand for a third term in office. Several protesters have been killed, detained or threatened in a violent reprisal against opponents of the third-term agenda.
Although the MFWA welcomes the release of three activists, we condemn their detention for 19 days as a violation of their rights. We therefore urge the authorities in Guinea to take urgent steps to end the ongoing repression against protesters.