Guinea jails 7 Diallo supporters

2011-04-13 18:11

Conakry - Guinea courts jailed seven supporters of main opposition leader Cellou Dalein Diallo for one year for taking part in a rally to welcome him home after a three-month trip, lawyers said on Wednesday.

The government banned the April 3 rally and the thousands of people who took part were dispersed by security forces: hospital sources said one person was killed and 27 wounded but the opposition says four died.

Sixty members of Diallo's Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea (UFDG) were arrested and charged with taking part in an illegal demonstration, lawyers said.

A court in the capital Conakry sentenced seven of them to one year in prison, their lawyer Boubacar Barry told AFP.

Seventeen others were given six-month suspended sentences and fined €100 and 17 more freed.

Another court in the city sentenced 10 more party activists to one-year suspended jail terms and €100 fines, said lawyer Thierno Ousmane Tall. Nine others were freed.

Diallo, a former prime minister, lost November presidential elections to President Alpha Conde after a campaign in which around seven people were killed in largely ethnic clashes.

After the vote he left the country on a three-month tour of Africa and Europe.

The government has denied its forces opened fire on his welcome home rally.

The election in the world's leading producer of bauxite was billed as the first democratic vote since independence from France in 1958, turning the page on 50 years of dictatorship.