06/18/2020

Urgent Action Update: Sick Activist Still Held Despite Court Order (Guinea: UA 83.20)


The Guinean authorities are still holding Saïkou Yaya Diallo, the legal coordinator of the National Front for the Defense of the Constitution (FNDC in French) despite the 21 May bail under judicial supervision order by the Appeal Court of Conakry. According to his lawyer, the prosecutor has appealed in cassation the release order even though the law does not allow him to appeal the decision. On 12 May, Saikou was charged with “assault, violence, threats and public insults” and transferred to Conakry prison. Saïkou Yaya Diallo suffers from chronic diabetes.

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  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.
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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 that the Guinean authorities are still holding Saïkou Yaya Diallo, the legal coordinator of the National Front for the Defense of the Constitution (FNDC in French) despite an Appeal Court decision on 21 May to release him under judicial supervision. According to his lawyer, the prosecutor has appealed in cassation the release order even though the law does not allow him to do.

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, a suspected government intelligence agent, claiming to be a journalist, was identified during a FNDC press conference at PADES party headquarters in Ratoma by FNDC members. FNDC members, including Saïkou Yaya Diallo locked 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. According to several witnesses, Saïkou Yaya Diallo was not involved in any violence.

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 5 June, the Guinean authorities officially confirmed 68 cases of COVID-19 and three deaths in the prison of Conakry.

I urge you to immediately and unconditionally release Saïkou Yaya Diallo and drop all charges against him. Pending his release, I urge you to ensure that Saïkou Yaya Diallo’s conditions of detention are in line with international standards, including access to healthcare, water, the appropriate food for his diet, and regular access to his family. If contact visits are restricted due to COVID-19 preventive measures, they must be replaced with other means of contact, for example, by phone, emails or video calls. Finally, I urge you to end harassment and intimidation against human rights defenders and activists, including members of pro-democracy groups in Guinea.

Yours sincerely,

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