Urgent Action Update: Activist Still Held Despite Release Orders (Guinea: UA 83.20)

August 31, 2020

Saïkou Yaya Diallo, the legal coordinator of the National Front for the Defense of the Constitution (FNDC), remains held in arbitrary detention despite two court-issued release orders. He is being held in Conakry prison, in the Guinean capital, on fabricated charges of ‘assault, violence, threats and public insults’. Saïkou Yaya Diallo suffers from chronic diabetes and in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic is at heightened risk of contracting the virus. He must be immediately and unconditionally released.



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Mory Doumbouya
Minister of Justice
BP: 564 Conakry
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 that the Guinean authorities are still detaining Saïkou Yaya Diallo, the legal coordinator of the National Front for the Defense of the Constitution (FNDC in French) despite two court orders to release him under judicial supervision; the first on 21 May and the second on 6 July by the president of the criminal section of Kaloum Court. According to his lawyer, the prosecutor has appealed the 6 July release order despite the fact that the law does not allow this.

Saïkou Yaya Diallo was arrested on 7 May 2020 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. On 25 March, during a FNDC press conference, FNDC members, including Saïkou Yaya Diallo, kept a suspected intelligence agent claiming to be a journalist 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. According to several witnesses, Saïkou Yaya Diallo was not involved in any violence.

I am concerned that Saïkou Yaya Diallo is being detained solely in connection with his pro-democracy activism with the FNDC. I am also deeply concerned about Saïkou Yaya Diallo’s health while in detention, as not only does he suffer from chronic diabetes, which requires a strict diet and treatment, but his precondition puts him at a heightened risk of contracting COVID-19. On 5 June, the Guinean authorities officially confirmed 68 cases of COVID-19 and three deaths in Conakry prison.

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 conditions of detention are in line with international standards, including by allowing him access to healthcare, water, the appropriate food for his diet, and regular access to his family; end harassment, intimidation and attacks against human rights defenders, and activists, including members of pro-democracy groups in Guinea.

Yours sincerely,