Coup Again in Guinea-Bissau

April 20, 2012

Guinea-Bissau protests
Some 30 people hold a peaceful demonstration in front of the national assembly, where the negotiations are taking place, on April 15, 2012 in Bissau, before soldiers violently disperse them. (Photo SEYLLOU/AFP/Getty Images)

Demonstrating again the worst employment record for job security, members of the military staged a coup last week, arresting the president and prime minister, in the small, west African nation of Guinea-Bissau.

Since independence, no democratically elected president has completed a 5 year term of office.

Reacting to domestic and international condemnation, including suspension by the African Union, the army is becoming increasingly repressive of the basic rights of freedom of movement and expression, particularly of the media.

Peaceful protests have been violently repressed, and there is not good information as to how many people have been detained. The president and prime minister are reported to be detained under conditions that present serious health concerns.

Amnesty International is concerned about this sharp rise in human rights violations, and calls upon the military leaders to not engage in further violence or allow the situation to continue to deteriorate. Guinea-Bissau is a country already faces serious challenges to human rights integrity. It is critical current events not lead to further destabilization for Guinean citizens.