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Guinea government announces progress toward trial of stadium massacre suspects
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Guinea government announces progress toward trial of stadium massacre suspects

The Guinean Minister of Justice announced Friday that a location has been chosen and a provisional budget drafted for the trial of suspects implicated in a violent crackdown on political demonstrators at a Conakry stadium in September 2009.

According to the report of the UN Commission of Inquiry charged with investigating the massacre, at least 156 people were killed or forcibly disappeared and at least 109 women were raped or sexually assaulted by security forces during a rally against then President of Guinea Moussa Dadis Camara. Hundreds of demonstrators were allegedly tortured and more than a thousand injured. The Commission found a reasonable basis to believe that crimes against humanity occurred, writing, “These crimes are part of a widespread and systematic attack launched by the Presidential Guard, the police responsible for combating drug trafficking and organized crime and the militia, among others, against the civilian population.” In addition to former president Camara, multiple high government officials and military officers face potential criminal liability for their roles in the violence. The developments in Guinea are being monitored by prosecutors at the International Criminal Court, where a preliminary examination was opened in the immediate aftermath of the massacre.

At a press conference Friday, Guinean Minister of Justice Cheick Sako said the committee responsible for organizing the trial had chosen a movie theater near the capital for the proceedings. The theater will be renovated to improve security and public accessibility. The next step in the planning process is to seek legislative approval of the proposed budget. Guinea is expected to cover 77 percent of the total cost, estimated at more than 8.5 million US dollars. Sako stated that Guinea will request contributions from the international community for the remainder of the funding.