Guinea’s September massacre pre-planned – HRW

Source: Reuters

DAKAR, Oct 27 (Reuters) – The killing of more than 150 people at an opposition rally by Guinean security forces on Sept. 28 was premeditated, Human Rights Watch said on Tuesday. The bloody crackdown has drawn broad international condemnation of the country’s ruling military junta led by Captain Moussa Dadis Camara, with the European Union on Tuesday saying it would impose an arms embargo [ID:nLR227754]. Human Rights Watch said Camara and some of his closest military associates in the National Campaign for Democracy and Development (CNDD) junta should face criminal prosecution for the incident, characterised by rapes and brutal beatings. “Security forces surrounded and blockaded the stadium, then stormed in and fired at protesters in cold blood until they ran out of bullets,” Africa director Georgette Gagnon said in a statement. “They carried out grisly gang rapes and murders of women in full sight of the commanders. That’s no accident.” HRW cited victims who referred to ethnic abuse. “Witnesses said that many of the killers and rapists made ethnically biased comments during the attacks, insulting and appearing to target the Peuhl, the majority ethnicity of the opposition supporters,” HRW said. The Presidential Guard, commonly known as the “red berets”, were the main culprits, it said. “Human Rights Watch researchers interviewed 27 victims of sexual violence, the majority of whom were raped by more than one person. Witnesses described seeing at least four women murdered by members of the Presidential Guard after being raped, including women who were shot or bayoneted in the vagina,” it said. Camara and the CNDD took control of the world’s biggest bauxite exporter last December after the death of longstanding President Lansana Contte opened a power vacuum. Even before Sept. 28, initial popular support for the CNDD’s anti-corruption stance had been replaced by dissatisfaction over their unwillingness to commit to stepping away from power, and erratic style of governance. (Reporting by Daniel Magnowski; Editing by Richard Williams)
spotted by RS

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