Guinea-Bissau Human Rights

Guinea-Bissau experienced yet another coup in April 2012 when Prime Minister Carlos Gomez Junior and interim President Raimundo Pereira were ousted. Elections have been delayed several times despite calls from the international community for a return to an elected government. They are currently scheduled for April 2014.

The armed forces have been responsible for numerous human rights violations including torture, arbitrary arrest, and prolonged detention. Impunity issues persist with the government failing to bring to justice those responsible for the abuses. Furthermore, the deleterious problem of drug trafficking continues to riddle Guinea Bissau with violence and government corruption associated with the criminal environment it engenders.

Arbitrary arrests and detentions persist. Amnesty International noted the arrests, beatings and detention of outspoken government critics in the period following the coup. Two politicians were badly beaten and a Portuguese journalist was expelled from the country.

The United Nations assessed Guinea-Bissau’s human rights record under the Universal Periodic Review process in 2010. The government of then President, Malam Bacai Sanha, rejected five recommendations, including those related to impunity of the armed forces for human rights violations. It did, however, support a commitment to the criminalization of female genital mutilation after a promised public education campaign. In June 2012, a law was passed to end the practice.