Guinea's former military dictator faces trial over stadium massacre

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 Guinea's former military dictator faces trial over stadium massacre

Guinea's former military dictator, Moussa Dadis Camara, will stand trial in one of the worst massacres in the country. More than 150 people were killed and women and girls were raped during during a protest against the military regime in 2009.

Captain Camara returned after 12 years in exile to “cleanse his name, which had been trampled into the mud,” his lawyer told the BBC.
< br />Ten other former officials will stand trial along with Captain Kamara, who is charged with being collectively responsible for the soldiers who committed the alleged crimes.

International Criminal Court (ICC) Chief Prosecutor Karim Khan welcomed the start of the trial process: “On this important day, I applaud the people of Guinea, the survivors and those who have lost loved ones.”

"The beginning of this lawsuit — this is just the beginning. My office will be following this very closely. The presumption of innocence is crucial”, — said Mr. Khan.

This was also welcomed by Acting UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Nada Al-Nashif: “Victims and families have waited 13 years for truth, justice and redress. Today's opening of this long-awaited trial is a decisive step for Guinea in its fight against impunity.”

The trial must be conducted “in the interests of the victims and in accordance with international standards,” Ms. Al-Nashif added.

On the day of the killings, September 28, 2009, security forces , are said to have blocked the exits of a stadium in the capital of Conakry before opening fire.The long-delayed trial will be the first in Guinea for human rights violations of this magnitude, human rights group Human Rights Watch said.

finally take place.

“We demand justice, nothing but justice,” — said one of the victims that day, a 63-year-old woman and a former member of the opposition party.

That day, she was raped by a soldier and suffered multiple fractures in the stampede, which left her disabled. The woman added that she was still emotionally traumatized by what happened to her and could not come to the stadium where she was attacked.

Captain Kamara, 58, seized power in 2008 when the longtime president died Lansana Conte, but he was deposed and fled the country shortly after the Conakry assassinations and the assassination attempt. He lived in Burkina Faso for 12 years before returning to Guinea on Sunday.

He was detained pending trial, according to his lawyer, Pepe Antoine Lamach, who called it a violation of the law.

Following Captain Camara's departure from Guinea, a fact-finding investigation into the tragedy was launched, which lasted from 2010 to 2017. During this time, several alleged perpetrators were charged, including Captain Camara.

The order for the stadium massacre trial was given by the current head of the military junta, Colonel Mamady Dumbuya, who came to power after a coup in 2021 year.

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