Guinean police took three members of a “wounded” coalition into custody during their arrest on Tuesday in Conakry, after statements targeting the transitional parliament and the justice system, we learned from their lawyer on Wednesday.
The three people in police custody are members of the National Front for the Defense of the Constitution (FNDC), a coalition which had orchestrated months of mobilization from 2019 to 2021 against former President Alpha Condé (2010-2021), overthrown in September 2021 by a junta led by Colonel Mamady Doumbouya.
The national coordinator of the FNDC, Oumar Sylla dit Foniké Mengué, Mamadou Billo Bah and the rapper Alpha Midiaou Bah dit Djanii Alfa were violently arrested on Tuesday by the police at the headquarters of their coalition, where they were holding a press conference, noted a journalist. from AFP. MM. Sylla and Bah were beaten and their clothes torn by police.
“Our clients are still in custody (at the Conakry judicial police) since Tuesday”the lawyer for the three men, Salifou Béavogui, told AFP. “They have injuries. (Mamadou) Billo Bah has his upper lip split while Foniké (Mengué) is writhing in pain following the blows he received during his arrest. They are refused to see a doctor”said Me Béavogui.
“Our comrades hostages of the CNRD (the governing body of the ruling junta) still remain without care despite multiple requests from our lawyers”, said the FNDC in a press release on Wednesday evening. The organization denounces the “actions of the CNRD which exploits justice for the sole purpose of executing its obscure plan to confiscate power and silence all dissonant voices”in this press release.
Demonstrations were organized Tuesday evening and Wednesday in neighborhoods in the suburbs of Conakry by FNDC supporters to protest against the arrest of the three men, AFP noted. The demonstrators burned tires, erected barricades, overturned garbage cans and stoned the police, who tried to disperse them with tear gas canisters.
MM. Sylla and Bah are prosecuted for having “produced and disseminated through a computer system offensive remarks against the National Transitional Council (CNT)”the transitional Parliament set up by the junta, explained Tuesday the prosecutor of the Court of Appeal of Conakry, Alphonse Richard Wright, on the private radio Fim FM.
Rapper Djanii Alfa had recently criticized remarks by the president of the CNT, Dansa Kourouma, who advocated a regrouping of the parties of Guinea in two or three blocks according to their ideology, before being threatened with arrest by the prosecutor, indicated Me Béavogui at AFP. Mr. Sylla had criticized these alleged threats from the prosecutor on his Facebook page. The remarks reproached to Mr. Bah were not specified.
The FNDC had called for demonstrations on June 23, overriding the ban imposed by the junta. He had suspended his call the day before the demonstration, to “give a chance” to the dialogue proposed by the transitional government. But after the last meeting with him, the FNDC denounced “a dating parody”but also “the solitary and authoritarian conduct of the transition” and “serious violations of fundamental rights and freedoms”.
Junta leader Colonel Mamady Doumbouya has pledged to return power to elected civilians within three years.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) rejected this deadline on Sunday, during a meeting in Accra, without announcing new sanctions against Guinea, already suspended from the bodies of the organization. She appointed a new mediator, former Beninese President Thomas Boni Yayi, to resolve the crisis.