Guinea | Respect and protect civic space

As part of the UPR process, a review of Guinea human rights record is scheduled to take place in January 2020. As a prelude, NGOS, State delegations and the NHRI gathered for the pre-session organized on 10 December 2019. This pre-session offered civil society a platform to directly advocate to State delegations ahead of the UPR session and facilitated the possibility for diplomatic delegations to ascertain information on Guinea’s human rights record.

Lately Guinea has been known for shrinking civil society space by restricting its right to freedom of assembly. It was recently the case when the government forbade demonstration by the opposition against the amendment of the Constitution which would allow the current President to run for another term.

During the pre-session, several human rights organisations emphasised the lack of implementation of international and regional conventions at the national level, the need to address human rights issues around illegal mining and to review the law on environmental associations as well as the restrictions and threats most civil society actors face when conducting their work.

While recognising the effort made by the government towards gender equality, civil society organisations called on the government to enforce it in regards to elected officials.

Finally, ISHR submitted a briefing paper in collaboration with Coordination of Organizations for the Defense of Human Rights (CODDH), on the situation of human rights defenders in Guinea. The submission is intended to assist States and other stakeholders in formulating questions and making recommendations to the Guinean government during the UPR.

Key recommendations that should be made to Guinea at the UPR include:

  • Guarantee the rights to freedom of information and freedom of expression and ensure that human rights defenders and journalists can carry out their legitimate and peaceful activities, including monitoring and documenting human rights violations, without threat to their security and without fear of attack or reprisal;
  • End impunity for violations carried out by security forces during public demonstrations and uphold its constitutional commitment and international obligations to ensure enjoyment of the right to freedom of assembly;
  • End interference and censorship of media outlets, and release imprisoned journalists in accordance with press law which excludes imprisonment for press offenses in Guinea;
  • Strengthen the functioning and independence of the National Institution for Human Rights to guarantee its compliance with the Paris Principle and ensure greater protection for human rights defenders;
  • Adopt the draft law on the promotion and protection of human rights defenders currently being discussed at the National Assembly and ensure its conformity with the UN Declaration on human rights defenders and other relevant international and regional human rights norms;

Contact: Adélaïde Etong Kame, Africa Advocacy Consultant, [email protected]

Photo: UN Photo/Evan Schneider

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