70 people killed in Guinea ahead of 2020 presidential polls

At least 70 people have been killed in Guinea during protests ahead of the 2020 presidential election, Amnesty International said on Wednesday.

The deaths have occurred since 2015, during various demonstrations against President Alpha Conde’s plans to amend the constitution to run for a third term, the human rights organisation said in a statement.

In addition, more than 100 protesters have died in custody within the same period, according to Amnesty.

The small West African nation is witnessing mounting human rights violations, including the killing of protesters, bans on peaceful assemblies and attacks on dissenting voices as well as journalists.

“Nine protestors were killed in September alone during demonstrations against a potential revision of the constitution.

“Leaders of pro-democracy movements and scores of protestors were arrested,’’ said Amnesty West and Central Africa Director, Marie-Evelyne Barry.

While Amnesty could not confirm the circumstances of all 70 deaths, testimonies from medical staff, witnesses and the type of ammunition used indicated that, at least, 59 of them appear to have been killed by the police and gendarmerie.

The victims include a seven-year-old child who, according to medical sources, was hit by a stray bullet in October 2015.

Moreover, hundreds of people, including small children, have been injured by members of the security forces, using live ammunition, batons and tear gas canisters, Amnesty said.

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