05/20/2020

Urgent Action: Sick Activist Arbitrarily Detained (Guinea: UA 83.20)


Saïkou Yaya Diallo, legal coordinator of the opposition group National Front for the Defense of the Constitution (FNDC in French), was arrested on 7 May and detained at the Judicial Police Directorate in Guinea’s capital Conakry, following incidents at a political party conference. On 12 May, he was charged with “assault, violence, threats and public insults” and transferred to Conakry prison. Saïkou Yaya Diallo suffers from chronic diabetes which requires a strict diet and treatment. On 12 May, the Guinean authorities confirmed 58 cases of COVID-19 and 3 deaths in the prison.

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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 83.20. 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
Salutation: Dear Ambassador

Dear Minister,

I am concerned about the detention of Saïkou Yaya Diallo, legal coordinator of FDNC, who was arrested on 7 May and detained at the Directorate of the Judicial Police. On 12 May, he was charged with “assault, violence, threats and public insults” and transferred to Conakry prison, where he has since been held.

His arrest is linked to the alleged forced imprisonment by FNDC members of a suspected government intelligence officer agent during a press conference on 25 March at the headquarters of the political party PADES. He and his colleagues reportedly put the suspected intelligence agent in an office while waiting for a crowd to disperse outside, presumably to protect the agent from potential violence from the crowd of opposition activists in retaliation to the killing of 12 people by security forces following controversial elections in the week before.

I am concerned about Saïkou Yaya Diallo’s health while in detention, as he suffers from chronic diabetes which requires a strict diet and treatment. Furthermore, I am concerned that he is now at heightened risk of contracting COVID-19. On 12 May, the Guinean authorities officially confirmed 58 cases of COVID-19 and three deaths in the prison. Prisons are at risk of becoming a very dangerous hotspot for COVID-19 outbreaks. The United Nations Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture has urged all states to “review all cases of pre-trial detention in order to determine whether it is strictly necessary in the light of the prevailing public health emergency and to extend the use of bail for all but the most serious of cases”.

I believe that Saïkou Yaya Diallo has been detained for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression. I urge you to immediately and unconditionally release Saïkou Yaya Diallo and drop all charges against him; ensure that, pending his release, Saïkou Yaya Diallo’s has access to healthcare, water, the appropriate food for his diet, and regular access to his family; and end harassment and intimidation against members of pro-democracy activists in Guinea.

Yours sincerely,

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

COVID-19 CRISIS: HELP NOW