04/28/2020

Urgent Action: Pro-Democracy Activist Detained (Guinea: UA 64.20)


On 17 April, pro-democracy activist Oumar Sylla, alias Foniké Mengué, was arrested outside his house in Conakry, Guinea, by Banditry Repression Brigade officers. Prior to his arrest, he spoke on a radio show during which he called for protests against the government’s plans for constitutional change, which may change presidential term limits and allow Guinea’s President Alpha Condé to be elected for a third term. He also accused members of the government and ruling party of killings, torture and other ill-treatment, and arbitrary detention. He was initially detained for one day in “Villa 40”, the office of the General Intelligence Directorate, then transferred to the Judicial Police Directorate. On 24 April, he was charged with dissemination of false information.

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TAKE ACTION:

  1. Write a letter in your own words or using the sample below as a guide to one or both government officials listed. You can also email, fax, call or Tweet them.
  2. Click here to let us know the actions you took on Urgent Action 64.20. It’s important to report because we share the total number with the officials we are trying to persuade and the people we are trying to help.
Mamadou Lamine Fofana
Minister of Justice
Due to postal restrictions caused by COVID-19, please only send physical mail to the Embassy
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
Facebook: @EmbassyofGuineainWashingtonDC
Salutation: Dear Ambassador

Dear Minister,

I am writing to you concerning Oumar Sylla, pro-democracy activist, deputy coordinator of pro-democracy movement Turn the Page Guinea and mobilization coordinator of National Front for the Defense of the Constitution (FNDC in French), who was arrested outside his house in Conakry by Banditry Repression Brigade officers on 17 April. He was initially detained for one day in “Villa 40”, the office of the General Intelligence Directorate, then transferred to the Judicial Police Directorate.

On the morning of 17 April, Oumar Sylla participated by phone in the radio show “Grande Gueule” on Espace FM radio station. During his interview, he called on members of FNDC to prepare for the resumption of demonstrations against the government’s plans for constitutional change, which may change presidential term limits and allow President Alpha Condé to be elected for a third term. He denounced the killings, torture, arbitrary detention and harassment of FNDC members in the city of Nzerekoré during Guinea’s legislative elections on 22 March, and identified members of the government, members of ruling party and local authorities he believed to be responsible for human rights violations.

On 24 April, Oumar Sylla was charged with “dissemination of false information”. I believe the charge against Oumar Sylla and his arbitrary detention are attempts to silence him.

I urge you to immediately and unconditionally release Oumar Sylla and drop the charge against him; refrain from further arrests of individuals for simply exercising their right to freedom of expression; end harassment against members of civil society; and 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.

Yours sincerely,

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