Rights activists and a number of organisations and countries have hailed the progress made towards justice in Guinea for the victims of a 2009 massacre.
Representatives of the United Nations, West African bloc ECOWAS, the European Union, the United States and the United Kingdom on Thursday issued a collective statement welcoming “the progress made in the quest for justice for the victims”.
Their statement comes a year after the start of a trial of the alleged perpetrators of the massacre which took place in a stadium in Conakry on September 28, 2009.
At least 156 people were killed, at least 109 women raped and hundreds of others wounded in and around the stadium where a political rally was being held.
11 men stand accused of being behind the massacre, including Guinea’s former dictator Moussa Dadis Camara and other former military and government officials. The killings were carried out by security forces loyal to Camara.
Camara came to power in a coup d’etat in December 2009 and ruled until 2010.
The trial, ordered by Colonel Mamady Doumbouya who also took power by force in September 2021, is unprecedented in a country ruled for decades by authoritarian regimes.
The NGO Human Rights Watch has praised the conduct of the trial and the conditions in which the defendants were represented and questioned.
“The trial is a rare current example of domestic accountability involving high-level suspects and should inspire more similar justice efforts,” the organisation said in a statement published on Monday.
The organisation added that the trial “needs continued encouragement, scrutiny and support from international players, including the International Criminal Court, United Nations, and donors.”