Sunday, October 04, 2009

[Guinean news] Call for witnesses from Human Rights Watch

An FOG member reported:

I was in touch today with the West Africa senior researcher for Human Rights Watch who will be heading to Guinea in the next couple of days to begin her investigation into the atrocities of September 28 and the continuing violence and human rights abuses.

She is looking for help connecting with credible eye witnesses, survivors, and victims' families who are willing to be interviewed. I am sending some names her way, and if any of you have other people to connect her to, please email me at Human Rights Watch will, of course, protect this information with the utmost care.

In addition, she shared with me the attached collection of HRW statements/press reports and press complications since the coup in December, which provides useful background and some eyewitness accounts already. In English and French.

Also, FYI - I was in touch today with the office of Congresswoman Yvette Clarke (Brooklyn, 11th District), who is coming out strong against the use of violence against civilian protesters in Guinea. Her staffers are looking to set up a meeting with "concerned residents" to hear from people in the districts and learn our perspective on what has happened and what the US should do about it. She has also been in close touch with the State Department. Seems like a potentially helpful ally; we should know more early this week about the Brooklyn meeting and will keep you posted if you are in the area and would like to attend, and for the debrief which may yield more ideas of how best we can have a positive impact on the situation.

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