Thursday, December 17, 2009

[Guinean news] Sept. 28 massacre, rapes 'premeditated,' 'likely crimes against humanity': HRW

The non-governmental organization Human Rights Watch has issued a report described the Sept. 28 killings in Conakry's main sports' stadium as 'premeditated' and 'likely crimes against humanity.'

HRW came to this conclusion after interviewing 240 victims, witnesses, military personnel, medical staff, humanitarian officials, diplomats, and journalists.

The NGO collected chilling witness accounts describing how members of Guinea's security forces burst into the stadium and opened fire on tens of thousands of opposition supporters who had gathered to demand a return to civilian rule... Witnesses described how bodies were strewn across the field, crushed against half-opened gates, and draped over walls. Others told how the panicked demonstrators were gunned down as they tried to scale the stadium walls; shot point blank after being caught hiding in tunnels, bathrooms, and under seats; and mowed down after being drawn out by soldiers who were pretending to offer safe passage.

"The serious abuses carried out in Guinea on September 28 were clearly not the actions of a group of rogue, undisciplined soldiers, as the Guinean government contends," said Peter Bouckaert, Emergencies director at Human Rights Watch. "They were premeditated, and top-level leaders must at the very least have been aware of what was being planned, our investigation shows."

-The HRW summary is here
-The full report can be accessed here

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