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UN rights office expresses concern over unrest in Guinea

The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) [official website] on Tuesday highlighted their concern over violence and turmoil in Guinea [press release]. The OHCHR discussed reports of injuries and death [UN News Centre report] following demonstrations in the captial of Conakry. OHCHR spokesperson Rupert Colville said, "We call on national authorities to ensure the strict application of law and remind them of their responsibility to protect civilians. ... We also call for a prompt, impartial and effective investigation to ensure that those responsible for the human rights violations which have been committed are held accountable." The OHCHR also called on demonstrators to abstain from "using of violence and damaging property."

While the current incident may appear at first to be minor, Guinea has a history of unrest. In September Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] called on the Guinean government to further its support [JURIST report] for the prosecution of crimes originating from a 2009 massacre. 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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