I am concerned that the Guinean authorities are still detaining Saïkou Yaya Diallo, the legal coordinator of the National Front for the Defence of the Constitution (FNDC in French) despite two court orders to release him under judicial supervision; the first on 21 May and the second on 6 July by the president of the criminal section of Kaloum Court. According to his lawyer, the prosecutor has appealed the 6 July release order despite the fact that the law does not allow this.
Saïkou Yaya Diallo was arrested on 7 May 2020 and detained at the Directorate of the Judicial Police. On 12 May, he was charged with "assault, violence, threats and public insults" and transferred to Conakry prison, where he has since been held. On 25 March, during a FNDC press conference, FNDC members, including Saïkou Yaya Diallo, kept a suspected intelligence agent claiming to be a journalist in an office while waiting for a crowd to disperse outside, presumably to protect the agent from potential violence from the crowd of opposition activists. According to several witnesses, Saïkou Yaya Diallo was not involved in any violence.
I am concerned that Saïkou Yaya Diallo is being detained solely in connection with his pro-democracy activism with the FNDC. I am also deeply concerned about Saïkou Yaya Diallo’s health whilst in detention, as not only does he suffer from chronic diabetes, which requires a strict diet and treatment, but his precondition puts him at a heightened risk of contracting COVID-19. On 5 June, the Guinean authorities officially confirmed 68 cases of COVID-19 and three deaths in Conakry prison.
In light of the above, I urge you to:
- Immediately and unconditionally release Saïkou Yaya Diallo and drop all charges against him.
- Ensure that, pending his release, Saïkou Yaya Diallo’s conditions of detention are in line with international standards, including by allowing him access to healthcare, water, the appropriate food for his diet, and regular access to his family. If contact visits are restricted due to COVID-19 preventive measures, they must be replaced with other means of contact, for example, by phone, emails or video calls.
- End harassment, intimidation and attacks against human rights defenders, and activists, including members of pro-democracy groups in Guinea.