News24

Guinea - 60 protesters arrested

2012-05-29 21:42

Conakry - Guinea's opposition said on Tuesday that at least 60 of its supporters were being held by authorities after a protest on 10 May which turned violent as police clashed with demonstrators.

"At least 60 of our members and sympathisers have been in prison since 10 May and the days following the peaceful march... We demand their immediate release without conditions," spokesperson for two opposition coalitions, Mamadou Mouctar Diallo told AFP.

He said those imprisoned at Conakry's civilian prison "are in acceptable conditions but some are complaining of torture while they were detained by the paramilitary police" between 10 and 12 May.

Diallo said the opposition supporters had been charged with crowding a public road, violence against security forces in the exercise of their duty, conspiracy and destruction of public and private goods.

The charges could not be confirmed independently but a prison source confirmed about 60 people were being held after the protest.

Diallo said about 10 people had been arrested on the day of the march while the rest were "kidnapped" from their homes in opposition strongholds.

On 10 May thousands gathered to demand talks with President Alpha Conde's government on holding long-delayed legislative elections.

Security forces fired teargas to disperse protesters, while some were beaten with batons and rifle butts. Doctors also reported bullet wounds. Some 41 were injured, including 17 paramilitary police officials, various sources reported.

Conde's government has long delayed legislative polls, which, according to the country's constitution, were to be held within six months of his inauguration in December 2010 in the country's first ever democratic polls.

The government had promised elections for 8 July, but in April they were postponed as Conde said there were "technical problems" that had not been resolved.