Urgent Action: Activist Once Again Detained on Bogus Charges (Guinea: UA 154.20)

October 14, 2020

One month after his release, pro-democracy activist Oumar Sylla, alias Foniké Mengué, has once again been arrested and arbitrarily detained. He was riding a motorbike with a friend to mobilize protesters on 29 September when he was arrested by police officers in plain clothing in Matoto municipality in the Guinean capital, Conakry. He refused to follow the police officers because they failed to present an arrest warrant. Nevertheless, they brutally carried out his arrest which resulted in him sustaining injuries to his hand and finger. He has since been held in Conakry prison on fabricated charges. Oumar Sylla is a prisoner of conscience who must be immediately and unconditionally released.



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Maitre Mory Doumbaya
Minister of Justice
Email: [email protected]
Ambassador Kerfalla Yansane
Embassy of the Republic of Guinea
2112 Leroy Pl. NW, Washington DC 20008
Phone: 202 986 4300
Contact form: https://bit.ly/2CpLqLu
Salutation: Dear Ambassador


Dear Minister,

I am writing to you concerning Oumar Sylla (alias Foniké Mengué), a pro-democracy activist and mobilization coordinator for National Front for the Defense of the Constitution (FNDC), who was arrested on 29 September.

He has been falsely charged with “unauthorized gathering, disturbance of public order, destruction of public property and endangering state security” and is currently being held in Conakry prison, in the Guinean capital. The police officers refused his lawyers access to him during his custody in the Direction of Judiciary Police headquarters (DPJ).

Oumar Sylla was riding a motorbike with a friend through the neighborhood of Matoto in the Guinean capital, to mobilize people to engage in a protest against President Condé’s candidacy for the 18 October presidential elections, when he was arrested. During his arrest, he refused to follow the police officers without them presenting an arrest warrant. The officers tore his shirt and mask and injured his hand and finger during the arrest. This is the second time this year that the authorities have arbitrarily arrested and detained Oumar Sylla in an attempt to silence him and reduce the FNDC’s protest mobilization efforts against President Alpha Condé running for a third term.

I urge you to immediately and unconditionally release Oumar Sylla and ensure that the charges against him are dropped; ensure that, pending his release, Oumar Sylla’s conditions of detention are in line with international standards, including access to water, food and regular access to his family and lawyer. If contact visits are restricted due to COVID-19 preventive measures, they must be replaced with other means of communication, by phone, video call or emails; and the harassment, intimidation and arrests of members of civil society and individuals for simply exercising their right to freedom of expression.

Yours sincerely,