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HRW urges support for Guinea massacre investigation

Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] called Thursday for the Guinean government to further its support for the prosecution of crimes originating from a 2009 massacre. On the eve of the three-year anniversary of the massacre, HRW published a statement [press release] requesting that additional resources be dedicated to a domestic panel investigating the 2009 massacre [BBC backgrounder] of 157 opposition members engaged in a peaceful protest at a stadium in the nation's capital of Conakry. Noting that "more than 100 victims await the opportunity to provide statements to the investigating judges, and possible mass graves have yet to be investigated" HRW said that the panel of judges investigating the crimes should have additional equipment and supplies to help carry out the investigation, as well as more security to protect them. According to Elise Keppler, senior international justice counsel for HRW, "while the investigating judges have made some progress in the investigation, they need more support from the Guinean government if they're going to help break the cycle of abuse and build respect for rule of law in Guinea."

In 2010 a commission created by Guinea's junta announced that former Guinean junta aide Lieutenant Aboubacar Cherif "Toumba" Diakite is the sole government official to blame for the massacre [JURIST report]. The commission's conclusion contradicted a UN report [JURIST report] that blamed military junta leader Moussa Dadis Camara [BBC profile], Minister for Special Services Moussa Tiegboro Camara and Toumba for the September 28 slayings. In October 2009 the International Criminal Court placed the Guinean military under preliminary investigation for human rights violations related to the Conakry incident, and the UN and Guinea both announced they were creating commissions to investigate [JURIST reports] the killings.

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