Thursday, September 04, 2008

[Guinean news] Inquiry into general strike deaths 'obstructed'

The Inter Press Service has a profile of some of the families who lost loved ones during the repression of the early 2007 general strike.

IPS notes: More than 186 people died in the wave of repression that followed anti-government demonstrations and strikes in January and February 2007. However the government only acknowledges 137 victims.

"For now we just want to know what happened. We can forgive, but we have to know the truth," said one resident of a Conakry suburb who lost his son.

Another man who lost his son was less clement. "I can't forgive. They killed my son under false pretenses. He was completely unarmed -- not a gun, or a rock, or a even a stick. But they shot him," he explained.

Observers state that inquiries into the 2007 events and a series of shootings in 2006 have been obstructed.

Human Rights Watch researcher and Guinea RPCV Dustin Sharp says that a truly effective national inquiry is necessary to bring the military under control. "A very dangerous message is being sent to armed forces: that violence and lack of discipline are acceptable behavior," he explained.

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