Year2015

Physical integrity

The death penalty is part of the penal code in Guinea. While there have not been any executions since 2001, 28 prisoners are currently on death row.

In April 2015, the death penalty was requested against 15 people convicted of killing 8 journalists and members of an anti-Ebola team who had been raising awareness about the disease in rural areas. The murders occurred in September 2014. All 15 were sentenced to life imprisonment.

Lack of medical care is the principal cause of death in detention. Malaria and beriberi are the two most lethal diseases. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has led the fight against malnutrition in prisons and has helped improve conditions.

Deaths caused by suicide or violence between prisoners or prison guards are uncommon, however there are occurrences of prisoners who have committed particularly serious crimes being lynched by other prisoners.

A crowd lynched four people accused of murdering a gold merchant on the 29 November 2015 at the high-security prison of Kouroussa[^1].

[^1]:See France 24 report aired on December 22, 2015.

Torture was common during the 50 years of dictatorship in Guinea. Torture still occurs in the country today, though the number of cases has declined considerably. There is no definition of torture or degrading and inhumane treatment in the penal code.

Most cases of violence against prisoners occur under police custody during preliminary investigations, where the objective is to collect confessions. Interrogations can last up to 12 hours and can be repeated several times.

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Guinea met with prisoners at the civilian prison of Forécariah in January 2015. Prisoners reported abuses suffered post-arrest.

Three foreign men, accused of participating in the assassination of Thierno Aliou Diaouné (project coordinator of the peace consolidation fund of Guinea) on February 6, 2015, were detained at the maximum-security prison of Conakry. The men made statements to the OHCHR, that they were tortured by the anti-banditry unit during investigations.

Prisoners are restrained only if they are deemed a possible risk to others. This is especially the case for prisoners suffering mental illnesses, where prisons claim to have no other effective method to deal with the prisoners.

The OHCHR visited 183 detention centers between January and November 2015 (police stations and prisons). The team found prisoners being held beyond temporary detention limits, prisoners being held after receiving orders for release and other cases of arbitrary detention.   

The OCHR also criticized the practice of families using bribes to free relatives from custody. The OCHR also highlighted the use of mass arrests as a form of repression during periods of political instability, in particular the presidential elections of October 2015.   

The United Nations team working on arbitrary detention requested the release of three high-ranking military officers in May. The three have been detained since 2011, accused of taking part in an attack targeting the house of President Alpha Condé. Due to irregular criminal court sessions a verdict has still not been delivered.