Friday, November 23, 2007

In Guinea, commission investigating civilian deaths takes the slow lane

The investigation into alleged killings of civilians by Guinean security forces is faltering, says IRIN:

Citizens and international observers are worried that if people's grievances are not addressed then the upcoming anniversary of January's deadly military crackdown could trigger more protests and violence.

At least 137 civilians were allegedly killed by the army and police during unprecedented citizen uprisings in January and February, international rights advocates say. One Guinean human rights group puts the number of civilians killed at at least 230.

The commission into the violence was created in May by a unanimous vote in parliament but the members of the commission have yet to be sworn in and begin their work.

"We do not have much hope that this commission will produce any positive result," Thierno Maadjou Sow, president of Guinea's Organisation of Human Rights (OGDH), told IRIN on 22 November.

"There are people who are implicated who are close to those in power so it is difficult for the justice system here to function properly," he added.

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