phase: Preliminary Examinations, Admissibility Assessment
The Preliminary Examination of the Situation in Guinea focuses on alleged atrocity crimes committed during a political crisis which involved Guinean government forces (Conseil National pour la Démocratie et le Développement (CNDD)) under President Moussa Dadis Camara and protest groups (opposition political parties and citizens). The political crisis occurred from December 2008 to January 2010, but this preliminary examination focuses on the “September 28 Massacre” which occurred on September 28, 2009.
In 1958, Guinea gained independence from France, and Ahmed Sekou Toure became the first president. In 1984, after President Toure’s death, Lansana Conte seized power in a military coup and proclaimed himself president. In 1993, in Guinea’s first multiparty democratic elections, President Conte was elected. Despite criticism from opposition parties, President Conte was re-elected in 1998 and in 2003. In late December 2008, after President Conte’s death, junior military officers seized power in a military coup, and Captain Moussa Dadis Camara was declared president.
On September 28, 2009, Guinea’s independence day, 50,000 protesters gathered in a national stadium to express discontent with President Camara’s plans to run for president and the military junta’s rule over the country. Guinea government forces began shooting into the crowds; an estimated 157 were killed. Protesters were stabbed and beaten. Women were targeted for rape and sexual violence. Guinea government forces quickly removed bodies from the stadium, making it difficult to ascertain the true number of those killed. After an assassination attempt, President Camara left the country for medical treatment. On June 27, 2010, Guinea held the first round of presidential elections and, on November 7, 2010, held the second round of presidential elections. Alpha Conde was elected president.
Guinea is a State Party to the International Criminal Court (ICC) and ratified the Rome Statute on July 14, 2003. On October 14, 2009, after receiving communications of alleged atrocity crimes committed in Guinea, the ICC Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) announced a preliminary examination. In a December 2011 report, the OTP determined that there is a reasonable basis to believe that Guinea government forces committed crimes against humanity. The preliminary examination is focused on crimes committed in the context of the September 28, 2009 massacre, as well as the existence and genuineness of related national proceedings.
As of July 2020, the preliminary examination of Guinea is in the admissibility assessment phase. A delegation from the OTP visited Guinea in October 2019 to engage with Guinean authorities and other stakeholders, and the OTP has expressed its intention to closely follow and engage with national authorities to support Guinea’s plan to hold a domestic trial of the events of September 28, 2009.
For more information on the preliminary examination in Guinea, please visit the ICC page.
[Updated July 27, 2020]