I am writing to you concerning Oumar Sylla (alias Foniké Mengué), a pro-democracy activist who was arrested on 29 September. He has been falsely charged with “unauthorised gathering, disturbance of public order, destruction of public property and endangering state security” and is currently being held in Conakry prison, in the Guinean capital. This is the second time this year that the authorities have arbitrarily arrested and detained Oumar Sylla in an attempt to silence him and reduce the FNDC’s protest mobilization efforts against President Alpha Condé running for a third term.
In light of the above, I urge you to immediately and unconditionally release Oumar Sylla and ensure that the charges against him are dropped. Ensure that, pending his release, Oumar Sylla’s conditions of detention are in line with international standards, including access to water, food and regular access to his family and lawyer. If contact visits are restricted due to COVID-19 preventive measures, they must be replaced with other means of communication, by phone, video call or emails, for example. End the harassment, intimidation and arrests of members of civil society and individuals for simply exercising their right to freedom of expression.