Guinea: Victims file a criminal complaint against Guinean security forces for crackdown on AngloGold Ashanti protesters

Author: Inclusive Development International (IDI), Published on: 11 March 2019

"Criminal complaint lodged against Guinean security forces for crackdown on electricity protests against AngloGold Ashanti", 28 February 2019

A criminal complaint has been lodged at the Court of First Instance of Siguiri, Guinea by ten victims of human rights abuses committed by Guinean defense and security forces during a crackdown on demonstrations against the local subsidiary of mining giant AngloGold Ashanti (SAG) last June. The protests were directed against SAG because of recurrent power outages that deprived people of access to electricity for nearly two months. SAG supplies electricity to the Siguiri prefecture of Northern Guinea. According to local medical sources, more than 40 people were injured after security forces opened fire on protesters. The victims included minors under 16 years of age. The most serious wounded were finally evacuated to Bamako for medical treatment. The complaint details a case of rape committed by the police against a young woman shortly after her arrest. She was detained by the Siguri Gendarmerie, along with other protesters and innocent bystanders for two days, where she was repeatedly raped by several soldiers. The complaint also accuses law enforcement of looting and destruction of private property.

"The violence committed by the defense and security forces in the protection of SAG facilities is a particularly serious crime.  We expect the judicial authorities not to tolerate the impunity of security forces and shed light on this case," said Foromo Frédéric Loua, one of the lawyers for the victims. The complaint was filed on behalf of the victims because no judicial investigation has so far been initiated in response to these events, while the perpetrators have enjoyed total impunity.

In December 2015, members of the Kintinian community known as “Area One” were also subjected to serious violence by Guinean defense and security forces in conjunction with a resettlement process to clear the way for an expansion of SAG’s Siguiri gold mine. These events were the subject of a 2017 complaint to the International Finance Corporation’s Ombudsman, which resulted in a mediation process between SAG and the community that is currently ongoing. 

 

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Related companies: AngloGold Ashanti