NewsWorldIn Guinea, the first releases of dozens of detainees...

In Guinea, the first releases of dozens of detainees from the deposed regime – archyde

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Two days after coup that overthrew Guinean President Alpha Condé, a first group of several dozen opponents of the deposed regime, detained in the civil prison of Conakry, began to be released on Tuesday, September 7, in the evening.

A correspondent for Agence France-Presse (AFP) saw about twenty of these prisoners leave the penitentiary, including the opponents Abdoulaye Bah and Etienne Soropogui, arrested in 2020 during the contesting the re-election of Mr. Condé, or the vice-mayor of Matam, one of the communes of Conakry, Ismaël Condé.

The latter, a defector from the ruling party, joined the opposition when the head of state undertook to pass a new constitution to run for a third term. Prosecuted for posting comments on Facebook suggesting that only weapons could make Alpha Condé leave, he was sentenced in July to three years and four months in prison.

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Seventy-nine inmates released

The soldiers who overthrew Mr. Condé on Sunday had pledged to speed up the liberation of “Political prisoners” of his diet. In total, a list of seventy-nine released detainees was approved following consultations between the new authorities, the prison administration and the detainees’ lawyers.

The soldiers led by the head of special forces, Lieutenant-Colonel Mamady Doumbouya insist on the forthcoming opening of a “Consultation” national government to define the terms of the political transition led by a future government of national unity in this poor West African country with significant mineral resources.

And these first releases come on the eve of an extraordinary summit on Guinea by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), which condemned the lightning takeover and the arrest of Mr. Condé. .

Following a similar putsch in neighboring Mali in August 2020, ECOWAS took sanctions, mainly economic, until the military embarks on a transition of up to eighteen months to return power to elected civilian leaders. A delegation in Mali, led by the ECOWAS mediator in this crisis, the former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, also expressed on Tuesday its concern about the respect of the deadlines, saying to itself “Concerned about the insufficiency of concrete actions in the effective preparation of the electoral process”.

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Assessment of the putsch still unknown

The epilogue of more than ten years of Alpha Condé’s regime in Guinea has aroused broad international condemnation, in particular from the African Union (AU), which called for the “Immediate release” by M. Condé and “Return to constitutional order”.

No deaths linked to the putsch have been officially reported. But Guinean media have reported ten to twenty deaths in the ranks of the presidential guard, information unverifiable due to lack of access to hospitals. The photos and names of at least a dozen victims, accompanied by messages of condolence, were circulating on social networks.

Special forces say they acted to end “Financial mismanagement” and at “Trampling of citizens’ rights”. They dissolved the government and institutions, and abolished the Constitution that Mr. Condé had adopted in 2020 by invoking this change in fundamental law to represent himself after two terms of office, despite months of protest repressed in the blood.

The World with AFP

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