The African Commission wishes to underline that it is the duty of the state to keep order and to ensure the security of the citizens and the normal working of state institutions. However, the African Commission would like to remind the state that the carrying out of the duty to keep order and security shall not occasion the violation of other important duties, notably the respect for human and peoples’ rights guaranteed by international conventions, including the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights to which the Republic of Guinea is party.
The African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights deplores, in particular, the infringements of the right to life and physical integrity, and the right to liberty and the security of the person, respectively guaranteed under Articles 4 and 6 of the African Charter, as witnessed during the suppression of mass demonstrations in Conakry and in the interior of the country.
The African Commission is also concerned about the martial law imposed by the government on 12 February 2007, which limits the enjoyment of many rights and freedoms enshrined in the African Charter, including the right to liberty and the security of the person (Article 6), the right to information and freedom of expression (Article 9), freedom of assembly (Article 11), and freedom of movement (Article 12). The African Commission would also like to recall that unlike other international human rights treaties, the African Charter does not allow for states to derogate from the rights and freedoms they are obliged to guarantee, which shall be observed even during emergency situations.
The African Commission is convinced that only dialogue will help Guinea to emerge from the crisis that it is going through at the moment. It therefore invites the various parties, including the government, the unions and political parties, to give preference to dialogue as the way out of the crisis.
Moreover, the African Commission calls on the international community, notably the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), to mobilize in order to facilitate the dialogue between the protagonists of the crisis in Guinea and to watch that fundamental rights and freedoms are preserved.
- H.E. Mr. the President of the Republic of Guinea
- H.E. Mr. the Chairperson of the AU
- H.E. Mr. the Chairperson of the ECOWAS
Banjul , 16 February 2007
H.E. Salamata Sawadogo,