Guinea: Indictment of Sékou Resco CAMARA, Commandant of the Guinean Army and Governor of Conakry
February 18 2013
On 14 February 2013, Sékou Resco Camara was indicted and heard at length by the magistrate in charge of the case as part of a judicial inquiry opened in May 2012 following a complaint lodged by FIDH and OGDH.
FIDH and its member organisation in Guinea, the Guinean Organisation for Human and Citizens’ Rights (OGDH), welcome this important step forward in the judicial investigation into acts of torture committed in Conakry in October 2010. The investigation was opened as a result of a civil complaint filed by FIDH and OGDH, alongside 17 victims on 18 May 2012 against Commandant Sékou Resco CAMARA, General Nouhou THIAM, former Chief of the Defence staff, and Commandant Aboubacar Sidiki alias De Gaulle CAMARA, former Chief of the Presidential guard. (…)
As a result of the complaint filed by FIDH and OGDH to Dixinn’s (Conakry II) Court of First Instance, the state attorney opened an investigation on 29 May 2012 for “unlawful arrest, kidnapping, assault and battery, abuse of authority, and offences committed in performing his duties.” According to information provided to the Court, in October 2010, members of the presidential guard close to the acting President of the transitional government allegedly and arbitrary arrested and detained several individuals. They were then reportedly tortured, in the presence and upon the instructions of, Commandants Sékou Resco Camara and Aboubacar Sidiki alias De gaulle Camara, and General Nouhou Thiam. (…)
According to Mr. Patrick Baudouin, FIDH Honorary President, in charge of FIDH Legal Action Group (LAG), “the indictment of Mr. Camara, who is still presumed innocent and who shall be able to defend himself in this procedure, is only a first step : those others who are responsible must be identified, including at lower levels of the hierarchy, in order to end the inquiry and hold a fair and equitable trial within a reasonable time.”
However, due to the position he holds – Mr. Camara has a large escort composed of members of the Autonomous Battalion of Airborne Troops (BATA), – and to his previous conviction on 30 November 2011 by Kaloum’s Court of First Instance (Conakry I) for “trespassing of administrative authority on judicial authority”, our organisations are concerned with risk of interference with judicial proceedings. Thus, FIDH and OGDH call upon the Guinean government to take all necessary steps to ensure the proper exercise and serenity of the judiciary, and security of the actors involved, in particular the security of the magistrate in charge of investigating this case.(…)
Further, FIDH and OGDH are also committed alongside several victims in two other legal cases concerning the 28 September 2009 Conakry stadium massacre, and the crushing of the demonstrations of January and February 2007. Our organisations call for similar steps to be taken in those two other procedures in order to pursue this effort to justice, to end the culture of impunity, and to fully engage in the national reconciliation process.
See the full article here.