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Read the following report of human rights abuses in the African country of Guinea in March 2020

country of Guinea in March 2020, together with the hypothetical

Human Rights

LW2033

Word Limit: 3000 words

Question

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Answer Part 1 and one question only from Part 2:

Part 1 (this part accounts for 50% of the total marks for this

assessment) – do not write more than 1500 words for this question

Read the following report of human rights abuses in the African

country of Guinea in March 2020, together with the hypothetical

facts, and then answer the following question:

Which rights contained in the African Charter on Human and

Peoples’ Rights may have been infringed? Give reasons for your

answer.

‘Guinea’s security forces failed to protect people from election-related and

intercommunal violence and committed human rights abuses in Nzérékoré,

southeastern Guinea, during legislative elections and a constitutional

referendum in March 2020, Human Rights Watch said in a report released

today.

The 43-page report…documents the violence which killed at least 32 people

and injured more than 90 as clashes between pro-government and

opposition supporters ignited longstanding political and ethnic tensions.

Security forces deployed to provide security for the polls did not do enough

to prevent the killings or widespread destruction of property, and allegedly

killed two people and beat and arbitrarily arrested dozens of men, Human

Rights Watch found…

The violence reached its peak in Nzérékoré, Guinea’s second-largest

city…Many were shot, hacked, or beaten to death, and at least one was

burned alive. Human Rights Watch also documented one case of a 17-yearold girl raped by a group of armed men.

Despite the presence of the security forces, including police, gendarmes,

and soldiers deployed to provide election security, witnesses said that the

security forces and the political authorities did not intervene or respond to

desperate calls to stop mobs from attacking people or destroying property…

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Guinea’s government initially said that 4 people died, but later admitted a

heavier human toll of 30 deaths. Human Rights Watch documented at least

32 killings and found credible evidence to support an allegation by Guinean

human rights groups that the bodies of over two dozen people killed during

the violence were removed from Nzérékoré’s regional hospital and secretly

buried in a mass grave in the city. Relatives told Human Rights Watch that

the hospital had refused to hand over their family members’ remains and

that they did not know where the bodies had been buried.

Although the majority of the killings in Nzérékoré were by armed citizens,

witnesses said security forces also killed at least two people, including a

pregnant woman, arrested scores, raided homes, and looted and damaged

properties. Most of those arrested were illegally detained at the Beyanzin

Military Camp in Nzérékoré between March 22 and 25, where they were

beaten and kept in inhuman conditions, in a dirty cell without adequate

ventilation, and were deprived of food and water.

Human Rights Watch sent preliminary findings and a list of questions to

Albert Damantang Camara, the security and civilian protection minister,

on September 8. On September 21, Minister Camara shared with Human

Rights Watch an April 30 Guinean police report on the March violence in

Nzérékoré. The report stated that a government prosecutor in Nzérékoré

had set up a commission of inquiry to identify and prosecute those

responsible for crimes committed in the city between March 22 and 24. The

report did not, however, address the role of the security forces in

responding to violence in Nzérékoré, other than stating that the Bellevue

neighbourhood, where the election day violence began, had been

“inaccessible” to the Guinean police due to the fighting there and that “the

army had been requisitioned to work with the security forces to pacify the

area.”

Human Rights Watch, ‘Guinea: Security Forces Failed to Stem Election

Violence’ 25th September 2020

https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/09/25/guinea-security-forces-failedstem-election-violence

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Hypothetically, when those arrested by the authorities were released, they

were charged with violating the (fictitious) Emergency Powers Act 2020

which became law only during the period of their detention. If they were

employed, the detainees were dismissed from their jobs and their children

were excluded from school.

Later, the authorities harassed significant members of the Guerzé ethnic

group, a group seen as sympathetic to the opposition, forcing them away

from their homes. This was to clear space for a power station which

opponents claimed would pollute the local air and water and undermine the

local economy.

Part 2 (this part accounts for 50% of the total marks for this

assessment) – do not write more than 1500 words for this question

1. ‘In recent times, there have been no successful prosecutions of

police officers for fatally shooting individuals in the UK, despite

widespread public criticism. Article 2 of the ECHR, the right to life,

is therefore insufficient to prevent the arbitrary killing by state

agents.’

Critically discuss this statement.

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