Guinean governor charged with torture

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CONAKRY (AFP) – The governor of Guinea’s capital Conakry has been charged with alleged acts of torture committed in October 2010, a judicial source said Saturday, in a move praised by rights groups.

Sekou Resco Camara was questioned and indicted by a Dixxin court, on the outskirts of Conakry, on Thursday after prosecutors last year opened an investigation into the case, the source said.

The governor is accused of arbitrarily arresting and detaining several people who were then subjected to “acts of torture” in his presence.

The former head of the Guinea army, General Nouhou Thiam, and the army’s deputy chief of staff, Commander Abubakar Sidiki Camara, are also suspects in the case.

At the time of the alleged crimes, Guinea was led by General Sekouba Konate’s transitional government. Following November 2010 elections, Konate was replaced by Alpha Conde — the country’s first democratically elected president.

Rights groups said the charges were an important step for a country marked by a history of political and military violence.

“This is very good news, carrying a strong message: no one is above the law, not even the forces of law and order,” said Thierno Maadjou Sow, the head of the OGDH Guinean human rights group.

“With the indictment of Conakry’s governor for acts of very serious nature, the Guinean justice sends an important signal in the fight against impunity,” said Souhayr Belhassen, head of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH).

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