At the coup d’état happened in Guinea-Bissau, Convergence of Cultures supports the Guinean League for Human Rights’ announcement.
As part of its mission to promote and uphold human rights, the national directorate of the Guinean League for Human Rights has created a crisis cabinet to supervise the ongoing human rights violations in the country due to the changeover of constitutional order, led by the General Staff of the Armed Forces. This office has systematically received complaints from citizens who report the human rights violations occurred throughout the country, after the coup d’état that took place on April 12, 2012.
Freedom of the press, freedom of speech and freedom of assembly are intrinsic principles and expressions of democracy, that is, they show the actual control of power by those who have granted that power to the leaders, in honour of ideals of government stability and the principles of the rule of law.
After the coup d’état events, the General Staff has taken measures that include illegal restrictions on basic rights and freedoms of citizens, such as:
A. The illegal and hasty closure of all the social communication bodies, except the National Radio;
B. Acts of intimidation that led to the violent repression and subsequent assault on young men and women in a peaceful protest ended in two casualties, one of them critically injured;
C. The systematic repression of peaceful protests against the coup d’état, outside the laws in force in Guinea-Bissau;
D. Looting and vandalism in the residences of government members and other politicians;
E. Beatings of innocent citizens, particularly, the journalist Antonio Aly Silva, the singer Dulce Neves, the APGB General Manager Mario Mussante, and Octavio Morais who is resident of São Domingo and nobody knows his whereabouts;
At these events, the national management of the League decides as follows:
1. To condemn the recurring human rights violations carried out by the armed forces;
2. To demand that the General Staff of the Armed Forces take measures aimed at the opening up of all social communication bodies,
3. To request the General Staff to refrain from behavior and measures aimed at preventing citizens from exercising the basic rights and freedoms, including freedom of assembly, freedom of demonstration and freedom of expression and opinion;
4. To demand the return of all private properties unfairly taken from citizens;
5. To appeal for criminal and disciplinary action of everyone involved in looting and beating;
6. Once again, to appeal to the international community for urgent need to take suitable measures with a view to a quick solution of the crisis that has serious implications for people’s daily lives;
7. To support the industrial action called by both unions, UNTG and CGSI-GB, urging them to be strong in its decisions on grounds of stability and respect for constitutional and democratic order.
Made in Bissau, on April 16, 2012
The National Directorate
Translated to English by Mariana Avalos