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Guinea security forces using torture as instability increases: HRW

[JURIST] Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] released a report [text; press release] Tuesday finding that security forces in Guinea [US Department of State backgrounder] are routinely torturing people to coerce confessions in an increasingly unstable domestic climate. According to the report, "the most common types of abuse committed by the police...include binding the detainee with nylon cords in painful positions and then beating him." Within the past year, deteriorating economic conditions in the west African country have prompted multiple strikes [IRIN report], some of which were plagued by violence. In the most recent demonstrations in June, police killed at least 13 people.

The report identifies the "atmosphere of paranoia and repression" from the dictatorship of Sékou Touré [Wikipedia profile] that ended in 1984 as a major factor of the current conditions in Guinea. While human rights conditions have improved since current Guinea President Lansana Conté [BBC profile] took power, HRW says that the "Conté regime has been marked by abuses and repression." Conte has been in failing health recently and was flown to Switzerland for medical treatment [VOA report] earlier this month. Uncertainties about succession have worsened the unstable situation in the country. IRIN has more.

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