Sunday, August 17, 2008

Human Rights Watch Urges Guinea to Rein in Security Forces

Ahmed Tidiane Souare

From AFP:

Human Rights Watch called on Guinea's Prime Minister Ahmed Tidiane Souare to put the country's "chronic human rights problems at the top of his agenda", in a statement released Friday."

The government's continuing inaction in the face of gross human rights abuses really hurts ordinary Guineans," said Dustin Sharp a researcher with the movement.

"If prime minister Souare is to break with the past, he needs to insist that security forces responsible for murder, rape and torture are brought to justice," he added.

The security forces have been an important pillar for the regime of President Lansana Conte, 74, who has ruled the West African nation since 1984.

Human Rights Watch said it had written to Soaure on August 7 calling on him to "exercise bold leadership."

It urged him to tackle Guinea's most acute human rights problems, which it listed as: impunity for unlawful killings, torture, prison conditions, child labor and child trafficking.

Guinea had been rocked by civil unrest in the last few years which "has typically been met with brutal and excessive use of force by government security forces," said the group.

Souare was appointed prime minister on May 20, having previously served as mines, and then education minister.

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