Camp Boiro Memorial

Amnesty International
1993 Report on Human Rights

Dozens of students, an opposition leader and a journalist were detained, some for up to six weeks, and appeared to be prisoners of conscience. Some were tortured or ill-treated. New legislation broadened the application of the death penalty but no death sentences were passed.

In April a law permitting political parties came into effect; at least 40 parties had been set up and legalized by the end of the year. President Lansana Conté, who remained head of state and government during a transitional period until presidential and parliamentary elections, rejected opposition demands for a National Conference to discuss the country's political future. The first round of parliamentary elections due to take place in December was delayed but President Conte announced it would take place during 1993.

In May a new law increased the number of offences punishable by death to include murder committed during demonstrations or attacks on buildings. It also made organizers of public meetings responsible for the actions of all those attending such meetings and punishable by imprisonment for any violence or damage caused at the time of the meetings. In September the government stipulated that all public meetings and marches must have a five-person organization committee, which would be held responsible for any breaches of public order committed during such events. The government also assumed the power to ban any meetings deemed likely to threaten public order.

Political violence continued throughout the year resulting in several deaths. In the run-up to the elections scheduled for December, the clashes took on an increasingly ethnic character, with members of the Soussou ethnic group generally supporting the government and sometimes working closely with the security forces during attacks on other ethnic groups.

Between January and April there was violent conflict between students and the security forces in which at least two students died. Dozens of students were arrested and many of them appeared to be prisoners of conscience. Some were illtreated in custody.

In mid-January a student strike was launched in many parts of the country when the government failed to respond to student demands for better conditions. At first the strikes and protest marches took place without incident, but on 27 January…