Death Penalty Database
(Archived Reports)

Guinea

Information current as of: May 30, 2012

General

Official Country Name

Republic of Guinea (Guinea – Guinea-Conakry). [1]

Geographical Region

Africa (Western Africa). [2]

Death Penalty Law Status

Abolitionist de facto. [3]

Methods of Execution

Shooting. [4]

Comments.
Under Article 15 of the Penal Code, executions take place inside jails. [5]

References

[1] U.S. Dept. of State, Background Note: Guinea, http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2824.htm, Nov. 4, 2011.
[2] U.N., Composition of macro geographical (continental) regions, geographical sub-regions, and selected economic and other groupings, http://unstats.un.org/unsd/methods/m49/m49regin.htm, Sep. 20, 2011.
[3] Amnesty Intl., Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review: Eighth session of the UPR Working Group of the Human Rights Council, May 2010, p. 7, AFR 29/007/2009, Nov. 02, 2009. La Peine de Mort dans le Monde, La peine de mort – Guinée, http://www.peinedemort.org/National/pays.php?pays=173, last accessed May 25, 2012. Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, La peine de mort: Guinée, http://www.abolition.fr/ecpm/french/fiche-pays.php?pays=GIN, last accessed May 25, 2012.
[4] Penal Code of Guinea, art. 14, Law No. 98/036, Dec. 31, 1998.
[5] Penal Code of Guinea, art. 15, Law No. 98/036, Dec. 31, 1998.

Country Details

Language(s)

French. [1]

Population

10,057,975. (July 2009 est.). [2]

Number of Individuals Currently Under Sentence of Death

At least 34. According to Amnesty International, “as of October 2009, more than 26 persons remain on death row in Conakry and Kindia high security prisons.” [3] There were no reports of death sentences or executions in 2009 or 2010. [4] Sixteen death sentences were imposed in September 2011 for participation in inter-ethnic violence in the southeast of the country in May 2011. [5] Eight of these sentences were imposed in absentia, [6] so we assume that there are at least 34 people currently under sentence of death.

Annual Number of Reported Executions

Executions in 2018 to date

0. [7]

Executions in 2017

0. [8]

Executions in 2016 (last updated on August 15, 2018)

0. [9]

Per capita execution rate in 2016

Executions in 2015

0. [10]

Per capita execution rate in 2015

0 executions.

Executions in 2014

0. [11]

Per capita execution rate in 2014

0 executions

Executions in 2013

0. [12]

Per capita execution rate in 2013

0 executions

Executions in 2012

0. [13]

Per capita execution rate in 2012

0 executions

Executions in 2011

0. [14]

Per capita execution rate in 2011

0 executions

Executions in 2010

0. [15]

Executions in 2009

0. [16]

Executions in 2008

0. [17]

Executions in 2007

0. [18]

Year of Last Known Execution

2001. [19] 8 executions took place in 2001; the previous executions took place in 1984. [20]

References

[1] Constitution of the Republic of Guinea, art. 1, Decree D/068/PRG/CNDD/SGPRG/2010 promulgating the Constitution adopted on Apr. 19, 2010 by the National Transition Council, May 7, 2010.
[2] U.S. Dept. of State, Background Note: Guinea, http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2824.htm, Nov. 4, 2011.
[3] Amnesty Intl., Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review: Eighth session of the UPR Working Group of the Human Rights Council, May 2010, p. 7, AFR 29/007/2009, Nov. 02, 2009.
[4] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2010, p. 48, ACT 50/001/2011, http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ACT50/001/2011/en, Mar. 28, 2011. Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2009, p. 24-25, ACT 50/001/2010, http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ACT50/001/2010/en, Mar. 30, 2010.
[5] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2011, p. 48, ACT 50/001/2012, http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ACT50/001/2012/en, Mar. 27, 2012.
[6] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2011, p. 48, ACT 50/001/2012, http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ACT50/001/2012/en, Mar. 27, 2012.
[7] DPW Executions and Death Sentences Monitor.
[8] DPW Executions and Death Sentences Monitor.
[9] Amnesty International, Death sentences and executions in 2016, ACT 50/5740/2017, Apr. 11, 2017.
[10] DPW Executions and Death Sentences Monitor.
[11] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2014, ACT 50/001/2015, Mar. 31, 2015.
[12] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2013, ACT 50/001/2014, Mar. 26, 2014.
[13] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2012, ACT 50/001/2012, Apr. 9, 2013.
[14] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2011, ACT 50/001/2012, http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ACT50/001/2012/en, Mar. 27, 2012.
[15] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2010, p. 5, ACT 50/001/2011, Mar. 28, 2011.
[16] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2009, p. 24-25, ACT 50/001/2010, http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ACT50/001/2010/en, Mar. 30, 2010.
[17] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2008, p. 22-23, ACT 50/003/2009, http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ACT50/003/2009/en, Mar. 24, 2009.
[18] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2007, p. 6,ACT 50/001/2008, http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ACT50/001/2008/en, Apr. 15, 2008.
[19] Amnesty Intl., Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review: Eighth session of the UPR Working Group of the Human Rights Council, May 2010, p. 7, AFR 29/007/2009, Nov. 02, 2009. La Peine de Mort dans le Monde, La peine de mort – Guinée, http://www.peinedemort.org/National/pays.php?pays=173, last accessed May 25, 2012. Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, La peine de mort: Guinée, http://www.abolition.fr/ecpm/french/fiche-pays.php?pays=GIN, last accessed May 25, 2012.
[20] Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, Guinée: Les assises de Conakry reprennent du service, http://www.abolition.fr/ecpm/french/news.php?new=387, May 9, 2005.

Crimes and Offenders Punishable By Death

Crimes Punishable by Death

Aggravated Murder.
Murder of one’s ascendants, [1] poisoning, [2] murder committed to further another crime [3] and murder through abusive acts of a child younger than 15 years old [4] are punishable by death. Murder of a baby, except if the perpetrator is the mother of the child and the child is younger than 2 months, is also punishable by death. [5]

Other Offenses Resulting in Death.
The following offenses, when they result in death, are punishable by death: taking a hostage in order to further another crime or to obtain a ransom or advantage, [6] kidnapping of a minor resulting in the minor’s death, [7] armed robbery, [8] and arson, [9] use of an explosive device, [10] or destruction by any means of any building or infrastructure, [11] in particular those of importance to the military. [12] Castration resulting in the death of the victim within 40 days is also punishable by death. [13] Some of these are aggravated murder offenses.

Terrorism-Related Offenses Resulting in Death.
Terrorist acts resulting in death are punishable by death. [14]

Terrorism-Related Offenses Not Resulting in Death.
Destroying or damaging State-owned buildings or infrastructures through arson or the use of explosive devices is punishable by death. [15] Arson of habitually occupied buildings or vehicles is punishable by death. [16] Laying a bomb with criminal intent is punishable by death. [17] Disrupting the security of the State by inciting to civil war [18] or by leading an armed group to cause devastation, massacres or looting is punishable by death. [19]

Arson Not Resulting in Death.
Destroying or damaging State-owned buildings or infrastructures through arson or the use of explosive devices is punishable by death. [20] Arson of habitually occupied buildings or infrastructures is punishable by death. [21] Laying a bomb with criminal intent is punishable by death. [22]

Kidnapping Not Resulting in Death.
Taking a hostage in order to further another crime or to obtain a ransom or advantage is punishable by death unless the hostage-taker voluntarily frees the hostage within 5 days before obtaining any benefits. [23]

Treason.
Treason and provocation to commit treason are punishable by death. [24]

Espionage.
Espionage and provocation or offer to commit espionage are punishable by death. [25]

Military Offenses Not Resulting in Death.
Desertion or flight in the face of the enemy; [26] capitulation by a commander prior to the exhaustion of all means of resistance; [27] plotting against a superior; [28] deliberate destruction of one’s ship or aircraft; [29] instigating a rebellion in time of war or on a ship or aircraft; [30] and failing, as the commander of a ship or aircraft, to leave it last; [31] are punishable by death.

Other Offenses Not Resulting in Death.
- Poisoning: Poisoning, even where it does not result in death, is punishable by death. [32]
- Torture: Committing acts of torture or barbaric acts in the course of committing a felony is punishable by death. [33]

Does the country have a mandatory death penalty?

Yes. While Hood & Hoyle state that the mandatory death penalty applies “not just for murder but for a ‘wide range of offenses,’” (referencing a 2006 report by Amnesty International), [34] we identified only one offense which for which the law clearly provided a mandatory death penalty.

Pursuant to Articles 48 and 568 of the Penal Code, a finding of mitigating circumstances allows the court to issue a sentence of life imprisonment rather than death, unless the law provides otherwise. [35] We found one offense where the law explicitly excludes the consideration of mitigating circumstances (taking a hostage in order to further another crime or to obtain a ransom or advantage and resulting in death). [36]

For Which Offenses, If Any, Is a Mandatory Death Sentence Imposed?

Other Offenses Resulting in Death.
Mitigating factors may not be considered for the crime of taking a hostage in order to further another crime or to obtain a ransom or advantage, resulting in the death of any person, and is punished by a mandatory death sentence. [37]

Crimes For Which Individuals Have Been Executed Since January 2008:

No individual has been executed since 2001. [38]

Categories of Offenders Excluded From the Death Penalty:

Individuals Below Age 18 At Time of Crime.
Under the Guinean Children’s Code, a child aged between 16 and 18 years who is convicted of a death-eligible offense will be sentenced to 5 to 10 years’ imprisonment. [39]

This is in conformity with Guinea’s international obligations as a party to the ICCPR, [40] the Convention on the Rights of the Child, [41] and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, [42] which prohibit the execution of individuals for crimes committed while under the age of 18.

Pregnant Women.
Under Article 14 of the Guinean Penal Code, pregnant women can only be executed one year after they give birth to a viable child. [43] Additionally, Guinea is party to the ICCPR, [44] which prohibits the execution of pregnant women.

Women With Small Children.
Under Article 14 of the Guinean Penal Code, pregnant women can only be executed one year after they give birth to a viable child. [45]

Mentally Ill.
Under Article 59 of the Penal Code, an offender cannot be convicted of a crime if he was insane at the time the offense was committed. [46]

References

[1] Penal Code of Guinea, art. 286, Law No. 98/036, Dec. 31, 1998.
[2] Penal Code of Guinea, art. 286, Law No. 98/036, Dec. 31, 1998.
[3] Penal Code of Guinea, art. 288, Law No. 98/036, Dec. 31, 1998.
[4] Penal Code of Guinea, art. 301, Law No. 98/036, Dec. 31, 1998.
[5] Penal Code of Guinea, art. 286, Law No. 98/036, Dec. 31, 1998.
[6] Penal Code of Guinea, art. 336, Law No. 98/036, Dec. 31, 1998.
[7] Penal Code of Guinea, art. 350, Law No. 98/036, Dec. 31, 1998.
[8] Penal Code of Guinea, art. 422, Law No. 98/036, Dec. 31, 1998.
[9] Penal Code of Guinea, art. 478, Law No. 98/036, Dec. 31, 1998.
[10] Penal Code of Guinea, art. 479, Law No. 98/036, Dec. 31, 1998.
[11] Penal Code of Guinea, art. 487, Law No. 98/036, Dec. 31, 1998.
[12] Penal Code of Guinea, art. 573, Law No. 98/036, Dec. 31, 1998.
[13] Penal Code of Guinea, art. 305, Law No. 98/036, Dec. 31, 1998.
[14] Penal Code of Guinea, art. 507, Law No. 98/036, Dec. 31, 1998.
[15] Penal Code of Guinea, art. 98, Law No. 98/036, Dec. 31, 1998.
[16] Penal Code of Guinea, art. 477, Law No. 98/036, Dec. 31, 1998.
[17] Penal Code of Guinea, art. 479, Law No. 98/036, Dec. 31, 1998.
[18] Penal Code of Guinea, art. 93, Law No. 98/036, Dec. 31, 1998.
[19] Penal Code of Guinea, art. 96, Law No. 98/036, Dec. 31, 1998.
[20] Penal Code of Guinea, art. 98, Law No. 98/036, Dec. 31, 1998.
[21] Penal Code of Guinea, art. 477, Law No. 98/036, Dec. 31, 1998.
[22] Penal Code of Guinea, art. 479, Law No. 98/036, Dec. 31, 1998.
[23] Penal Code of Guinea, art. 336, Law No. 98/036, Dec. 31, 1998.
[24] Penal Code of Guinea, arts. 70-72, Law No. 98/036, Dec. 31, 1998; Penal Code of Guinea, arts. 91 (combined with arts. 86, 88-90), 96 (combined with art. 86), Law No. 98/036, Dec. 31, 1998; Penal Code of Guinea, art. 101, Law No. 98/036, Dec. 31, 1998; Penal Code of Guinea, arts. 93, 96, Law No. 98/036, Dec. 31, 1998.
[25] Penal Code of Guinea, art. 73, Law No. 98/036, Dec. 31, 1998.
[26] Penal Code of Guinea, arts. 541, 557, 565, Law No. 98/036, Dec. 31, 1998.
[27] Penal Code of Guinea, art. 563, Law No. 98/036, Dec. 31, 1998.
[28] Penal Code of Guinea, art. 566, Law No. 98/036, Dec. 31, 1998.
[29] Penal Code of Guinea, art. 573, Law No. 98/036, Dec. 31, 1998.
[30] Penal Code of Guinea, art. 583, Law No. 98/036, Dec. 31, 1998.
[31] Penal Code of Guinea, art. 544, Law No. 98/036, Dec. 31, 1998.
[32] Penal Code of Guinea, arts. 286, 285, Law No. 98/036, Dec. 31, 1998.
[33] Penal Code of Guinea, art. 287, Law No. 98/036, Dec. 31, 1998.
[34] Roger Hood & Carolyn Hoyle, The Death Penalty: A Worldwide Perspective, p. 279 fn. 8, Oxford University Press, 4th ed., 2008.
[35] Penal Code of Guinea, arts. 48, 568, Law No. 98/036, Dec. 31, 1998.
[36] Penal Code of Guinea, art. 336, Law No. 98/036, Dec. 31, 1998.
[37] Penal Code of Guinea, art. 350, Law No. 98/036, Dec. 31, 1998. Guinean Children’s Code, art. 365, Law No. L/2008/011/AN, Aug. 19, 2008.
[38] Amnesty Intl., Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review: Eighth session of the UPR Working Group of the Human Rights Council, May 2010, p. 7, AFR 29/007/2009, Nov. 02, 2009. La Peine de Mort dans le Monde, La peine de mort – Guinée, http://www.peinedemort.org/National/pays.php?pays=173, last accessed May 25, 2012. Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, La peine de mort: Guinée, http://www.abolition.fr/ecpm/french/fiche-pays.php?pays=GIN, last accessed May 25, 2012.
[39] Guinean Children’s Code, art. 346, Law No. L/2008/011/AN, Aug. 19, 2008.
[40] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-4&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed May 25, 2012.
[41] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, Convention on the Rights of the Child,1577 U.N.T.S. 3, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=UNTSONLINE&tabid=2&mtdsg_no=IV-11&chapter=4&lang=en#Participants, last accessed May 25, 2012.
[42] African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Ratification Table: African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, http://www.achpr.org/instruments/child/ratification, last accessed May 25, 2012.
[43] Penal Code of Guinea, art. 14, Law No. 98/036, Dec. 31, 1998.
[44] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-4&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed May 25, 2012.
[45] Penal Code of Guinea, art. 14, Law No. 98/036, Dec. 31, 1998.
[46] Penal Code of Guinea, art. 59, Law No. 98/036, Dec. 31, 1998.

International Commitments

ICCPR

Party?

Yes. [1]

Date of Accession

Jan. 24, 1978. [2]

Signed?

Yes. [3]

Date of Signature

Feb. 28, 1967. [4]

First Optional Protocol to the ICCPR, Recognizing Jurisdiction of the Human Rights Committee

Party?

Yes. [5]

Date of Accession

Jun. 17, 1993. [6]

Signed?

Yes. [7]

Date of Signature

Mar. 19, 1975. [8]

Second Optional Protocol to the ICCPR, Toward the Abolition of the Death Penalty

Party?

No. [9]

Date of Accession

Not Applicable.

Signed?

No. [10]

Date of Signature

Not Applicable.

American Convention on Human Rights

Party?

Not Applicable.

Date of Accession

Signed?

Not Applicable.

Date of Signature

Death Penalty Protocol to the ACHR

Party?

Not Applicable.

Date of Accession

Signed?

Not Applicable.

Date of Signature

African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights (ACHPR)

Party?

Yes. [11]

Date of Accession

Feb. 16, 1982. [12]

Signed?

Yes. [13]

Date of Signature

Dec. 9, 1981. [14]

Protocol to the ACHPR on the Rights of Women in Africa

Party?

No. [15]

Date of Accession

Not Applicable.

Signed?

Yes. [16]

Date of Signature

Dec. 16, 2003. [17]

African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child

Party?

Yes. [18]

Date of Accession

May 27, 1999. [19]

Signed?

Yes. [20]

Date of Signature

May 22, 1998. [21]

Arab Charter on Human Rights

Party?

Not Applicable.

Date of Accession

Signed?

Not Applicable.

Date of Signature

2016 Record of Votes on the UN General Assembly Moratorium Resolution

Cosponsor

Vote

Signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation

2014 Record of Votes on the UN General Assembly Moratorium Resolution

Cosponsor

No. [22]

Vote

Abstained. [23]

Signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation

No. [24]

2012 Record of Votes on the UN General Assembly Moratorium Resolution

Cosponsor

No. [25]

Vote

Abstained. [26]

Signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation

No. [27]

2010 Record of Votes on the UN General Assembly Moratorium Resolution

Cosponsor

No. [28]

Vote

Abstained. [29]

Signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation

Yes. [30]

2008 Record of Votes on the UN General Assembly Moratorium Resolution

Cosponsor

No. [31]

Vote

Abstained. [32]

Signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation

Yes. [33]

2007 Record of Votes on the UN General Assembly Moratorium Resolution

Cosponsor

No. [34]

Vote

Abstained. [35]

Signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation

Yes. [36]

References

[1] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-4&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed May 25, 2012.
[2] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-4&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed May 25, 2012.
[3] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-4&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed May 25, 2012.
[4] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-4&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed May 25, 2012.
[5] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, Optional Prot. to the ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-5&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed May 25, 2012.
[6] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, Optional Prot. to the ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-5&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed May 25, 2012.
[7] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, Optional Prot. to the ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-5&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed May 25, 2012.
[8] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, Optional Prot. to the ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-5&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Aug. 19, 2010.
[9] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, Second Optional Prot. to the ICCPR, Aiming at the Abolition of the Death Penalty, 1642 U.N.T.S. 414, Dec. 15, 1989, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-12&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed May 25, 2012.
[10] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, Second Optional Prot. to the ICCPR, Aiming at the Abolition of the Death Penalty, 1642 U.N.T.S. 414, Dec. 15, 1989, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-12&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed May 25, 2012.
[11] African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Ratification Table: African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, http://www.achpr.org/instruments/achpr/ratification, last accessed May 25, 2012.
[12] African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Ratification Table: African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, http://www.achpr.org/instruments/achpr/ratification, last accessed May 25, 2012.
[13] African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Ratification Table: African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, http://www.achpr.org/instruments/achpr/ratification, last accessed May 25, 2012.
[14] African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Ratification Table: African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, http://www.achpr.org/instruments/achpr/ratification, last accessed May 25, 2012.
[15] African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Ratification Table: Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, http://www.achpr.org/instruments/women-protocol/ratification, last accessed May 25, 2012.
[16] African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Ratification Table: Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, http://www.achpr.org/instruments/women-protocol/ratification, last accessed May 25, 2012.
[17] African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Ratification Table: Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, http://www.achpr.org/instruments/women-protocol/ratification, last accessed May 25, 2012.
[18] African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Ratification Table: African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, http://www.achpr.org/instruments/child/ratification, last accessed May 25, 2012.
[19] African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Ratification Table: African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, http://www.achpr.org/instruments/child/ratification, last accessed May 25, 2012.
[20] African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Ratification Table: African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, http://www.achpr.org/instruments/child/ratification, last accessed May 25, 2012.
[21] African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Ratification Table: African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, http://www.achpr.org/instruments/child/ratification, last accessed May 25, 2012.
[22] U.N.G.A., 69th Session, Promotion and Protection of Human Rights: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, paras. 141, 144, U.N. Doc. A/69/488/Add.2, Dec. 8, 2014.
[23] U.N.G.A., 69th Session, 73rd Plenary Meeting, pp. 17-18, U.N. Doc. A/69/PV.73, Dec. 18, 2014.
[24] U.N.G.A., 69th Session, Note Verbale dated 28 July 2015, U.N. Doc. A/69/993, Jul. 29, 2015.
[25] U.N.G.A., 67th Session, Promotion and Protection of Human Rights: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, paras. 95-96, U.N. Doc. A/67/457/Add.2, Dec. 8, 2012.
[26] U.N.G.A., 67th Session, 60th Plenary Meeting, pp. 16-17, U.N. Doc. A/67/PV.60, Dec. 20, 2012.
[27] U.N.G.A., 67th Session, Note Verbale dated 16 April 2013, U.N. Doc. A/67/841, Apr. 23, 2013.
[28] U.N.G.A., 65th Session, Promotion and Protection of Human Rights: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, p. 5, U.N. Doc. A/65/456/Add.2, Dec. 8, 2010.
[29] U.N.G.A., 65th Session, 71st Plenary Meeting, pp. 18-19, U.N. Doc. A/65/PV.71, Dec. 21, 2010.
[30] U.N.G.A., 65th Session, Note Verbale dated 11 March 2011, U.N. Doc. U.N. Doc. A/65/779, Mar. 11, 2011.
[31] U.N.G.A., 63rd session, Promotion and Protection of Human Rights: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, U.N. Doc. A/63/430/Add.2, Dec. 4, 2008.
[32] U.N.G.A., 63rd Session, 70th Plenary Meeting, pp. 16- 17, U.N. Doc. A/63/PV.70, Dec. 18, 2008.
[33] U.N.G.A., 63rd Session, Note Verbale dated 10 February 2009, U.N. Doc. A/63/716, Feb. 12, 2009.
[34] U.N.G.A., 62nd Session, Promotion and Protection of Human Rights: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, U.N. Doc. A/62/439/Add.2, Dec. 5, 2007.
[35] U.N.G.A., 62nd Session, 76th Plenary Meeting, pp. 16- 17, U.N. Doc. A/62/PV.76, Dec. 18, 2007.
[36] U.N.G.A., 62nd Session, Note Verbale dated 11 January 2008, U.N. Doc. A/62/658, Feb. 2, 2008.

Death Penalty In Law

Does the country’s constitution make reference to capital punishment?

The Constitution of May 2010 makes no reference to the death penalty. However, a series of articles protect the right to life and to bodily integrity. The most important of these, Article 6, enshrines the “right to life and to physical and moral integrity” and prohibits torture as well as cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. [1] Article 5 states that “the human person and her dignity are sacred.” [2] Article 15 provides that “everyone has the right to health and to physical well-being.” [3] Furthermore, Article 9 provides that punishments must be proportionate to offenses. [4]

Does the country’s constitution make reference to international law?

Under Article 151, properly ratified treaties and agreements have an authority superior to that of national laws, provided they are respected by the other party or parties. [5]

The Constitution’s Preamble proclaims Guinea’s “commitment to the ideals and principles, rights and duties established in the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, international human rights treaties and pacts, the Charter of the Organization of African Unity, the African Charter for Human and Peoples' Rights, and its protocols relating to the rights of women”. [6] Furthermore, pursuant to Article 25 the state has the obligation to ensure that international human rights instruments are disseminated and taught in schools.

Have there been any significant changes in the application of the death penalty over the last several years?

The last executions in Guinea took place in 2001, [7] following a de facto moratorium of about 16 years, [8] during which sentences continued to be handed down. Under the country’s current de facto moratorium, death sentences similarly continue to be handed down. At least two persons were sentenced to death in 2005 [9] , 9 in 2006 [10] and at least 3 in 2008. [11] We found no reports of death sentences in 2009 or 2010, [12] but in September 2011, 16 persons were sentenced to death, 8 of them in absentia. They were convicted of “premeditated murder, violent killings, criminal conspiracy and destruction of property” following confrontations between two ethnic groups in which at least 25 people were killed. [13]

The 2011 sentences contradict statements made by President Alpha Condé in July 2011. During a meeting with foreign diplomats, the president stated that the death penalty did not exist in Guinea. He explained that sentencing people to death was never acceptable, even for those making an attempt on the President’s life, as this would not bring him back to life. [14]

Amnesty International reports that in June 2008, the Guinean Minister of Justice and Human Rights “gave assurances that the government was opposed to the death penalty and that people on death row would not be executed.” [15] The U.N. Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review also indicates that “a de facto moratorium was declared in 2002, and debates on the total abolition of death penalty – in particular on how the issue should be approached by society at large - resurfaced in 2009.” [16]

However, the Prosecutor General reportedly declared in November 2008 that the last existing death sentences would be carried out as provided for by Guinean law. [17] Moreover, in December 2008, Guinea abstained from voting on the U.N.G.A. moratorium on executions [18] and later signed the note verbale of dissociation. [19] This occurred for the 2010 resolution and note verbale as well. [20] During Guinea’s 2010 review by the U.N. Human Rights Council, the Guinean delegation declared that life imprisonment and the death penalty would be contemplated for the most serious cases of violence against women and children. [21] Furthermore, in September 2010, the Minister of Justice clearly indicated to the Human Rights Council that “following high level consultations, it was decided that it was premature to include this question in the national debate, especially during this delicate transitional phase.” He went on to explain that the “solution would be to have a de facto moratorium”. [22]

It should also be noted that when the Conakry Court of Assizes rendered its 2005 death sentences, it had been inactive for 10 years, due to a dearth of financial resources and court personnel. [23] This might help explain the relatively few number of death sentences handed down in this retentionist country.

Is there currently an official moratorium on executions within the country?

No. There has been a de facto moratorium in place since the last execution, which took place in 2001. [24] The de facto moratorium may be attributable in part to the fact that the Court of Assizes is rarely in session, [25] and in part to the government’s ambivalence regarding the death penalty. [26] In July 2011, President Condé declared that the death penalty did not exist in Guinea and that sentencing people to death was unacceptable. A few months later, however, in September 2011, 16 people were sentenced to death for their involvement in ethnic clashes which led to the deaths of 25 people. [27]

Have there been any significant published cases concerning the death penalty in national courts?

As of May 2012, we could not identify any significant published cases concerning the death penalty in Guinea. One reason for this could be the limited activity of the Court of Assizes, which has not held regular proceedings during the last 15 years due to serious underfunding, and which has at some periods gone for years without a session. [28]

Where can one locate or access judicial decisions regarding the death penalty?

As of May 2012, we could not locate any published cases on the death penalty issued by national courts. However, we note that under Article 31 of the Penal Code, death sentences must be printed and posted in Conakry, in the city where the death sentence was pronounced, in the city where the offence was perpetrated and in the place where the defendant is domiciled or was born. [29]

What is the clemency process?

Under Article 808 of the Penal Procedure Code, clemency is granted by the head of State and decisions on clemency pleas are not subject to appeal. Article 809 provides that clemency pleas are reviewed by the Ministry of Justice. [30] The Office of the Public Prosecutor has a duty to inform the Minister of Justice of every death sentence. A death sentence cannot be carried out before clemency has been denied. [31]

Are jury trials provided for defendants charged with capital offenses?

Yes. When the defendant is judged by the Courts of Assizes [32] (i.e. when he has been indicted with a crime punishable by a sentence of more than 5 years’ imprisonment), [33] he is tried by the Court and a jury of four jurors. [34] Jurors are chosen by drawing lots from a list of “prominent personalities among the citizens.” [35] The list is established every 3 years. [36] Due to serious funding issues, the Court of Assizes is not a permanent court. The two Courts of Assizes – one in the capital Conakry and one in Kankan – are mandated by law to sit every four months, though additional sessions may be scheduled when the need arises. [37] Presently, however, the sittings of the Court of Assizes are irregular, and they can go years without sitting a session. [38] Sessions seem only to be scheduled in the case of high-profile defendants. [39] The resulting case backlog is partially responsible for the country’s very high pre-trial detention rate. [40]

There are no jury in proceedings before the Military Tribunal, [41] nor in those before the Court of State Security, which tries offenses against the security of the state. [42]

Brief Description of Appellate Process

People sentenced to death by a Court of Assizes can appeal on questions of law only to the Supreme Court, which then acts as a court of cassation. [43] If the Supreme Court overturns the decision of the lower court, the defendant has the right to be tried again. [44] Appellate review is not mandatory. The accused has 6 days to lodge an appeal before the Supreme Court from the day the judgment is handed down. [45]

Defendants sentenced by the Court of State Security can appeal to the Supreme Court in the same manner as if they had been sentenced by a Court of Assizes. The Court of State Security has jurisdiction over death-eligible offenses such as treason and espionage. [46]

Death-sentences awarded by the Military Tribunal can also be challenged before the Supreme Court. In time of war, the accused has only one day from the day the sentence is given to appeal before the Supreme Court.

If tried in absentia, the defendant must be tried again before he can lodge an appeal before the Supreme Court. [47]

Collateral review (appeal on the facts) is possible before the Supreme Court, no matter which court issued the death sentence. There are 3 circumstances in which the accused may request a review by the Supreme Court, and 1 circumstance in which the Minister of Justice may make this request. All 4 circumstances relate to the appearance of new evidence calling into question the guilt of the death-sentenced person. [48]

References

[1] Constitution of the Republic of Guinea, art. 6, Decree D/068/PRG/CNDD/SGPRG/2010 promulgating the Constitution adopted on Apr. 19, 2010 by the National Transition Council, May 7, 2010.
[2] Constitution of the Republic of Guinea, art. 5, Decree D/068/PRG/CNDD/SGPRG/2010 promulgating the Constitution adopted on Apr. 19, 2010 by the National Transition Council, May 7, 2010.
[3] Constitution of the Republic of Guinea, art. 15, Decree D/068/PRG/CNDD/SGPRG/2010 promulgating the Constitution adopted on Apr. 19, 2010 by the National Transition Council, May 7, 2010.
[4] Constitution of the Republic of Guinea, art. 9, Decree D/068/PRG/CNDD/SGPRG/2010 promulgating the Constitution adopted on Apr. 19, 2010 by the National Transition Council, May 7, 2010.
[5] Constitution of the Republic of Guinea, art. 151, Decree D/068/PRG/CNDD/SGPRG/2010 promulgating the Constitution adopted on Apr. 19, 2010 by the National Transition Council, May 7, 2010.
[6] Constitution of the Republic of Guinea, Preamble, Decree D/068/PRG/CNDD/SGPRG/2010 promulgating the Constitution adopted on Apr. 19, 2010 by the National Transition Council, May 7, 2010.
[7] Amnesty Intl., Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review: Eighth session of the UPR Working Group of the Human Rights Council, May 2010, p. 7, AFR 29/007/2009, Nov. 02, 2009. La Peine de Mort dans le Monde, La peine de mort – Guinée, http://www.peinedemort.org/National/pays.php?pays=173, last accessed May 25, 2012. Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, La peine de mort dans le monde : Guinée, http://www.abolition.fr/node/390, last accessed May 25, 2012.
[8] Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, La peine de mort : Guinée, http://www.abolition.fr/ecpm/french/fiche-pays.php?pays=GIN, last accessed May 25, 2012.
[9] Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, Guinée / Les assises de Conakry reprennent du service, http://www.abolition.fr/ecpm/french/news.php?new=387, Sep. 5, 2005.
[10] Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, Guinée / Neuf condamnations à mort pour homicide politique, http://www.abolition.fr/ecpm/french/news.php?new=513, Sep. 09, 2006.
[11] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2008, p. 19, ACT 50/003/2009, http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ACT50/003/2009/en, Mar. 24, 2009.
[12] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2010, p. 48, ACT 50/001/2011, http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ACT50/001/2011/en, Mar. 28, 2011. Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2009, p. 24-25, ACT 50/001/2010, http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ACT50/001/2010/en, Mar. 30, 2010.
[13] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2011, p. 48, ACT 50/001/2012, http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ACT50/001/2012/en, Mar. 27, 2012. Amnesty Intl., Annual Human Rights Report 2012: Guinea, http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/guinea/report-2012, last accessed May 25, 2012.
[14] Amnesty Intl., Annual Human Rights Report 2012: Guinea, http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/guinea/report-2012, last accessed May 25, 2012.
[15] Amnesty Intl., Human Rights in Republic of Guinea, Report 2008, http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/guinea/report-2008, last accessed May 25, 2012.
[16] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review, Guinea, p. 8, para. 40, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/15/4, Jun. 14, 2010.
[17] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Summary prepared by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in accordance with paragraph 15 (c) of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 5/1, Guinea, p. 3, para. 11, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/WG.6/8/GIN/3, Feb. 2, 2010. Amnesty Intl., Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review: Eighth session of the UPR Working Group of the Human Rights Council, May 2010, p. 7, AFR 29/007/2009, Nov. 02, 2009.
[18] U.N.G.A., 63rd Session, 70th Plenary Meeting, pp. 16- 17, U.N. Doc. A/63/PV.70, Dec. 18, 2008.
[19] U.N.G.A., 63rd Session, Note Verbale dated 10 February 2009, U.N. Doc. A/63/716, Feb. 12, 2009.
[20] U.N.G.A., 65th Session, 71st Plenary Meeting, pp. 18-19, U.N. Doc. A/65/PV.71, Dec. 21, 2010. U.N.G.A., 65th Session, Note Verbale dated 11 March 2011, U.N. Doc. U.N. Doc. A/65/779, Mar. 11, 2011.
[21] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review, Guinea, p. 10, para. 60, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/15/4, Jun. 14, 2010.
[22] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the Human Rights Council on its fifteenth session, Vice-President and Rapporteur: Ms. Bente Angell-Hansen (Norway), Advance Unedited Version, p. 40, para. 300, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/15/L.10, Oct. 1, 2010.
[23] Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, Guinée / Les assises de Conakry reprennent du service, http://www.abolition.fr/ecpm/french/news.php?new=387, Sep. 5, 2005. Human Rights Watch, Guinea: “We Have Lived in Darkness”: A Human Rights Agenda for Guinea’s New Government, p. 38, http://www.hrw.org/reports/2011/05/24/we-have-lived-darkness-0, May 24, 2011.
[24] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review, Guinea, paras. 40, 72.8, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/15/4, Jun. 14, 2010.
[25] Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, Guinée / Les assises de Conakry reprennent du service, http://www.abolition.fr/ecpm/french/news.php?new=387, Sep. 05, 2005. Human Rights Watch, Guinea: “We Have Lived in Darkness”: A Human Rights Agenda for Guinea’s New Government, p. 38, http://www.hrw.org/reports/2011/05/24/we-have-lived-darkness-0, May 24, 2011.
[26] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review, Guinea, p. 8, para. 40, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/15/4, Jun. 14, 2010.
[27] Amnesty Intl., Annual Human Rights Report 2012: Guinea, http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/guinea/report-2012, last accessed May 25, 2012.
[28] Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, Guinée / Les assises de Conakry reprennent du service, http://www.abolition.fr/ecpm/french/news.php?new=387, Sep. 05, 2005. Human Rights Watch, Guinea: “We Have Lived in Darkness”: A Human Rights Agenda for Guinea’s New Government, p. 38, http://www.hrw.org/reports/2011/05/24/we-have-lived-darkness-0, May 24, 2011.
[29] Penal Code of Guinea, art. 31, Law No. 98/036, Dec. 31, 1998.
[30] Penal Procedure Code of Guinea, arts. 808-809, Law No. 037/AN/98, Dec. 31, 1998.
[31] Penal Procedure Code of Guinea, art. 767, Law No. 037/AN/98, Dec. 31, 1998.
[32] AHJUCAF, Questionnaire sur l'indépendance de la justice, Guinée, Nov. 07, 2007.
[33] Penal Procedure Code of Guinea, arts. 219, 232, Law No. 037/AN/98, Dec. 31, 1998. Human Rights Watch, Guinea: “We Have Lived in Darkness”: A Human Rights Agenda for Guinea’s New Government, p. 38, http://www.hrw.org/reports/2011/05/24/we-have-lived-darkness-0, May 24, 2011.
[34] Penal Procedure Code of Guinea, arts. 237, 282, Law No. 037/AN/98, Dec. 31, 1998.
[35] Penal Procedure Code of Guinea, arts. 251 & following, Law No. 037/AN/98, Dec. 31, 1998. Ibrahima Sidibe, Guinean Legal System and Research, GlobaLex, http://www.nyulawglobal.org/globalex/Guinea1.htm, Apr. 2012.
[36] Penal Procedure Code of Guinea, arts. 256-257, Law No. 037/AN/98, Dec. 31, 1998.
[37] Penal Procedure Code of Guinea, arts. 251 & following, Law No. 037/AN/98, Dec. 31, 1998. Ibrahima Sidibe, Guinean Legal System and Research, GlobaLex, sec. III.B.2., http://www.nyulawglobal.org/globalex/Guinea1.htmhttp://www.nyulawglobal.com/globalex/Guinea.htm, Mar., 2008Apr. 2012. Human Rights Watch, Guinea: “We Have Lived in Darkness”: A Human Rights Agenda for Guinea’s New Government, pp. 38, 44, http://www.hrw.org/reports/2011/05/24/we-have-lived-darkness-0, May 24, 2011.
[38] Human Rights Watch, Guinea: “We Have Lived in Darkness”: A Human Rights Agenda for Guinea’s New Government, p. 38, http://www.hrw.org/reports/2011/05/24/we-have-lived-darkness-0, May 24, 2011.
[39] U.S. Dept. of State, 2011 Human Rights Reports: Guinea, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2011/af/186203.htm, May 24, 2012.
[40] Human Rights Watch, Guinea: “We Have Lived in Darkness”: A Human Rights Agenda for Guinea’s New Government, p. 38, http://www.hrw.org/reports/2011/05/24/we-have-lived-darkness-0, May 24, 2011.
[41] Penal Procedure Code of Guinea, art. 850, Law No. 037/AN/98, Dec. 31, 1998.
[42] Penal Procedure Code of Guinea, art. 634-3, Law No. 037/AN/98, Dec. 31, 1998.
[43] Law on the Powers, Organization and Operation of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Guinea (Loi portant attributions, organisation et fonctionnement de la Cour suprême de la République de Guinée), arts. 4, 79, No. 91/008/CTRN, Dec. 23, 1991.
[44] Law on the Powers, Organization and Operation of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Guinea (Loi portant attributions, organisation et fonctionnement de la Cour suprême de la République de Guinée), art. 80, No. 91/008/CTRN, Dec. 23, 1991.
[45] Law on the Powers, Organization and Operation of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Guinea, art. 87, No. 91/008/CTRN, Dec. 23, 1991.
[46] Penal Procedure Code of Guinea, arts. 634-4, 634-5, 639bis, Law No. 037/AN/98, Dec. 31, 1998.
[47] Penal Procedure Code of Guinea, arts. 573, 576, Law No. 037/AN/98, Dec. 31, 1998.
[48] Law on the Powers, Organization and Operation of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Guinea (Loi portant attributions, organisation et fonctionnement de la Cour suprême de la République de Guinée), arts. 108-110, No. 91/008/CTRN, Dec. 23, 1991.

Death Penalty In Practice

Where Are Death-Sentenced Prisoners incarcerated?

Death-sentenced prisoners are held in Conakry civil prison and in Kindia high security prison. [1] Guinea acknowledged in its 2010 report to the U.N. Human Rights Council that “the principle of segregation by prisoner category is not respected, even in the case of women and children.” [2] This suggests that death-sentenced prisoners may be held with other prisoners (including pre-trial detainees) rather than in separate facilities.

Description of Prison Conditions

Prison conditions in Guinea have been described as “harsh and life-threatening.” [3] Human Rights Watch has concluded that the prisons’ gross inadequacies have “led to the deaths of tens of detainees.” [4]

Prisons are grossly overcrowded. [5] For instance, the Maison centrale in Conakry, built to hold 300 prisoners, holds around 1,000 prisoners, and the prison population has on some occasions reached 1,500. [6] In 2009, eighty percent of those prisoners were awaiting trial, and some had been waiting for over five years to be tried. [7] In addition, “court and prison infrastructures are obsolete or dilapidated,” which also causes overcrowding in detention facilities. [8]

Sanitation and healthcare are inadequate. [9] Toilets do not function, and prisoners sleep and eat in the same space used for sanitation purposes. Access to drinking and bathing water is inadequate. Many prisons are former warehouses with little ventilation. Temperatures are stifling, and electricity is insufficient. Although some prisons replaced tin roof panels with transparent ones, most prisons are dark. Lack of medicine in prisons, combined with endemic malnutrition and dehydration, make infection or illness life threatening. In several regions, prisoners with tuberculosis are held together with uninfected inmates. [10]

Food is also inadequate. Prisons rely on the International Committee of the Red Cross and other NGOs to provide meals to inmates. [11] Adult males at the Maison Centrale are generally fed a couple of handfuls of plain rice once per day with a tablespoon of palm oil or watery sauce on top. In 2007, roughly seven people per month died of malnutrition at the Maison Centrale. [12] Prisoners and detainees often rely on their families to supplement their food rations, but this requires bribing the guards, who then often confiscate food for themselves. [13]

Prison guards threaten, beat and torture prisoners on a routine basis to extract confessions and money. [14] In 2007, representatives from Amnesty International met with 23 death row inmates who stated that “they had been tortured or ill-treated at the time of arrests and during the first days of detention. Several bore visible marks of beatings or of prolonged restraints with ropes.” [15] According to the Guinean government in its 2010 report to the Human Rights Council, “[p]rison guards have not received professional training and there are too few of them.” [16] Human Rights Watch also found in 2009 that “unpaid prison guards regularly extort money from prisoners and their families, exacerbating problems of hunger and malnutrition.” [17]

Sexual abuse and rape is rampant. One local NGO reported that half of the female prisoners in Conakry Prison had been beaten or abused during 2011, and another NGO reported that prison guards regularly exploited and harassed girls under the age of 18 by demanding sexual favors in exchange for additional food or water. [18]

The widespread misconduct of prison guards is caused in part by the fact that prisons are largely staffed by “volunteers.” These volunteers have no training and are not employed by the state, but are fed from the same budget destined to cover prisoners’ food. [19] Their hope is to gain permanent entry to the military, [20] and they earn a living by selling goods to prisoners and extorting money from them. [21] Although the Ministry of Justice administers civilian prisons, military officers manage and staff the facilities. There are reports that some prison administrators follow directives from their military superiors, even when they are in conflict with orders from the Ministry of Justice. [22]

Are there any known foreign nationals currently under sentence of death?

As of May 2012, we could not identify any foreign national currently on death row in Guinea. [23]

What are the nationalities of the known foreign nationals on death row?

As of May 2012, we could not identify any foreign national currently on death row in Guinea. [24]

Are there any known women currently under sentence of death?

As of May 2012, we could not identify any women currently on death row in Guinea. In 2011, it was estimated that between 50 and 100 women were detained among the country’s approximately 4,000 prisoners. [25]

Are there any reports of individuals currently under sentence of death who may have been under the age of 18 at the time the crime was committed?

As of May 2012, we could not identify any juvenile currently on death row in Guinea. In 2011, a local NGO reported that there were approximately 130 minors incarcerated at Conakry Prison. Of these, 14 had never been formally charged or tried, several had been imprisoned for more than six years, and others had grown up in the prison. [26]

Comments regarding the racial/ethnic composition on death row

As of May 2012, we were not able to uncover any information regarding the racial/ethnic composition of death row in Guinea. However, the U.S. State Department noted in its 2011 Human Rights report that ethnic bias was a problem among the judiciary. [27]

Are there lawyers available for indigent defendants facing capital trials?

Legal aid is available in theory only. Article 9 of the 2010 Constitution recognizes the right for a person to be assisted by a lawyer as soon as he is arraigned or detained. [28] In its 2010 report to the Human Rights Council, Guinea stated that legal assistance was also provided for in a 2004 law but that it was “not available for various reasons” and that legal aid was ineffectual. [29] Moreover, Guinea acknowledged that the “lack of legal aid means that poor people are forced to appear in court without the assistance of a lawyer.” [30]

Defense counsel are supposed to be provided by the Guinean Bar to any adult charged with a serious crime. In practice, legal representation is rarely provided, due in part to the Bar’s underfunding. [31] Defense counsel are supposed to be paid US$76 per case by the Ministry of Justice, but this sum is so low for the amount work required that Guinean lawyers consider it more of “a gratuity” than a fee. Even so, this sum is rarely paid. [32] Defense counsel are usually only remunerated if their client can afford it. [33] Kpana Emmanuel Bamba, president of the Guinea Chapter of Lawyers Without Borders, said the right to defense is often ignored: “The Ministry of Justice has grossly inadequate funds for judicial assistance. The absence of legal representation for indigent citizens is a real problem in Guinea; lawyers are rarely being paid for this function, a safeguard of the people’s rights.” [34]

Furthermore, Human Rights Watch reports that “there are no focused legal aid clinics or other centralized providers in Guinea. Several NGOs help victims and detainees access free legal aid, but this is usually done intermittently, often with insufficient resources and only when the case falls into a particular group’s subject-matter mandate. … a detainee whose right to legal defense is not met by the State has no obvious recourse to a known legal aid clinic or group.” [35]

The unavailability of legal aid is particularly serious in capital cases. One lawyer who worked at the Maison Centrale of Conakry in 2007 described the case of a capital defendant who met his assigned lawyer for the first time at trial: “His lawyer had never even bothered to meet with or interview him before the trial. At the trial the man was convicted and sentenced to death.” [36]

Are there lawyers available for indigent prisoners on appeal?

Legal aid is available in theory only. Article 9 of the 2010 Constitution recognizes the right for a person to be assisted by a lawyer as soon as he is arraigned or detained. [37] In its 2010 report to the Human Rights Council, Guinea stated that legal assistance was also provided for in a 2004 law but that it was “not available for various reasons” and that legal aid was ineffectual. [38] Moreover, Guinea acknowledged that the “lack of legal aid means that poor people are forced to appear in court without the assistance of a lawyer.” [39]

Defense counsel are supposed to be provided by the Guinean Bar to any adult charged with a serious crime. In practice, legal representation is rarely provided, due in part to the Bar’s underfunding. [40] Defense counsel are supposed to be paid US$76 per case by the Ministry of Justice, but this sum is so low for the amount work required that Guinean lawyers consider it more of “a gratuity” than a fee. Even so, this sum is rarely paid. [41] Defense counsel are usually only remunerated if their client can afford it. [42] Kpana Emmanuel Bamba, president of the Guinea Chapter of Lawyers Without Borders, said the right to defense is often ignored: “The Ministry of Justice has grossly inadequate funds for judicial assistance. The absence of legal representation for indigent citizens is a real problem in Guinea; lawyers are rarely being paid for this function, a safeguard of the people’s rights.” [43]

Furthermore, Human Rights Watch reports that “there are no focused legal aid clinics or other centralized providers in Guinea. Several NGOs help victims and detainees access free legal aid, but this is usually done intermittently, often with insufficient resources and only when the case falls into a particular group’s subject-matter mandate. … a detainee whose right to legal defense is not met by the State has no obvious recourse to a known legal aid clinic or group.” [44]

The unavailability of legal aid is particularly serious in capital cases. One lawyer who worked at the Maison Centrale of Conakry in 2007 described the case of a capital defendant who met his assigned lawyer for the first time at trial: “His lawyer had never even bothered to meet with or interview him before the trial. At the trial the man was convicted and sentenced to death.” [45]

Comments on Quality of Legal Representation

According to a 2011 Human Rights Watch report, a decades-long policy of deliberate and sustained underfunding of the judicial branch of government has led to a serious shortage of judges and lawyers, which limits the availability of legal representation. Insufficient support has also translated into under-trained judicial personnel. [46]

Defense counsel are supposed to be paid US$76 per case by the Ministry of Justice under legal aid legislation, but this sum is so low for the amount work required that Guinean lawyers consider it more of “a gratuity” than a fee. Even so, this sum is rarely paid. [47] Defense counsel are usually only remunerated if their client can afford it. [48] Kpana Emmanuel Bamba, president of the Guinea Chapter of Lawyers Without Borders, said the right to defense is often ignored: “The Ministry of Justice has grossly inadequate funds for judicial assistance. The absence of legal representation for indigent citizens is a real problem in Guinea; lawyers are rarely being paid for this function, a safeguard of the people’s rights.” [49]

One lawyer who worked at the Maison Centrale of Conakry in 2007 described the case of a capital defendant who met his assigned lawyer for the first time at trial: “His lawyer had never even bothered to meet with or interview him before the trial. At the trial the man was convicted and sentenced to death.” [50]

The shortage of lawyers and judges is acute. In a February 2011 report, the High Commissioner for Human Rights observed that there are “fewer than 300 magistrates and 200 lawyers in the country, the vast majority of them based in Conakry.” [51] In May 2011, the head of the Guinean Bar Association asserted that there were 187 members of the bar, all but 10 of whom lived in the capital, Conakry. [52]

There are reports of lawyers being threatened when they represent interests contrary to those of prominent politicians, businessmen or members of the military. One lawyer’s office was stormed by a group of armed soldiers who threatened to detain him, his wife and their children unless he stopped representing his client. The judge presiding over the case was also threatened. [53] The U.S. Department of State also reported that in 2009, “small groups of soldiers interrupted judicial proceedings or threatened lawyers in an attempt to influence the outcome of proceedings.”

Other Comments on Criminal Justice System

Guinea’s justice system is gravely flawed. According to a February 2011 report, the High Commissioner for Human Rights observed that “[g]enerally, the judicial system in Guinea suffers from understaffing, a shortage of trained personnel and resources, and the lack of independence and corruption, which seriously hampers access to justice for victims of human rights violations and favours the general state of impunity in the country.” [54]

One of the most serious problems of the Guinean legal system is, according to Human Rights Watch, a decades-long policy of deliberate and sustained underfunding of the judiciary: “Decades of neglect and manipulation of the judiciary by successive administrations have created striking deficiencies in the system, resulting in impunity for all classes of crimes. Allocations for the judiciary for several years, including 2011, have been less than 0.5 percent of the national budget (a regional expert on justice sector reform told Human Rights Watch that an acceptable budget allocation should be at least 5 percent.) The government has yet to establish the 17-member Superior Council of Judges (Conseil supérieur de la Magistrature) tasked with the discipline, selection, and promotion of judges.” [55]

Judges’ working conditions are poor, and their salaries do not enable them to support them families (they earn less than their counterparts in other branches of government, and half as much as military officers). As a result, judges’ susceptibility to bribery is a question of survival. [56] As one judge put it, “If one day a judge’s child is sick, it is not just temptation or weakness of character that makes him engage in unprofessional behavior.” [57]

Within this context of serious underfunding, the criminal justice system is particularly under-resourced. As a result, the Court of Assizes, which tries offenses punishable by a sentence of more than 5 years’ imprisonment, is not a permanent court. The two Courts of Assizes – one in the capital Conakry and one in Kankan – are mandated by law to sit every four months, though additional sessions may be scheduled when the need arises. [58] Presently, however, the sittings of the Courts of Assizes are irregular, and they can go years without sitting a session. [59] Sessions seem only to be scheduled in the case of high-profile defendants. [60] The resulting case backlog is partially responsible for the country’s very high pre-trial detention rate. [61] For instance, some 115 cases were programmed to be judged in 2010, however by November 2010, only one had been completed. [62]

The judicial system does not uphold international fair trial standards, according to the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Following observation of a number of judicial proceedings, the report identified the following problems: “disregard for procedural rules pertaining to the handling of evidence, the basis for initiating prosecutions, prior access by defence lawyers to their clients’ files and the independence of the judges.” [63] In addition, “[j]udges seemed reluctant to order the provisional release of detainees but, at the same time, appeared to readily reject defence claims of police brutality and illegal pretrial detention.” [64]

Because of the problem of judicial corruption, many citizens prefer to rely on “traditional systems of justice at the village or urban neighborhood level,” in which “[l]itigants [present] their civil cases before a village chief, a neighborhood leader, or a council of ‘wise men.’” In the traditional system, “evidence given by women carries less weight.” [65]

The executive and legislative branches often interfere with the judiciary. [66] Guinean authorities have acknowledged that “although prohibited and punished by law, interference and intrusion in judicial affairs by the civil and military authorities are an obstacle to a fair trial.” [67] Human Rights Watch has reported instances of judges who received calls instructing them how to decide cases involving prominent politicians, businessmen or members of the military, and being “punished” if they refused to cooperate through transfers to other jurisdictions or even threats from military troops. [68]

Torture is reported to be widespread and systematic against detainees and political demonstrators. [69] Several of the 23 death row inmates visited by Amnesty International in April 2007 had “visible marks of beatings or of having their armed tied with ropes for prolonged periods of time.” [70] According to Human Rights Watch, many pre-trial detainees are held “based on a confession extracted under police torture.” [71]

References

[1] Amnesty Intl., Human Rights in Republic of Guinea, Report 2009, http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/guinea/report-2009, last accessed May 25, 2012.
[2] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, National report submitted in accordance with paragraph 15 (a) of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 5/1, Guinea, p. 7, para. 41, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/WG.6/8/GIN/1, Mar. 3, 2010.
[3] U.S. Dept. of State, 2011 Human Rights Reports: Guinea, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2011/af/186203.htm, May 24, 2012.
[4] Human Rights Watch, UPR Submission, Guinea, November 2009, p. 3, http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2010/04/23/universal-periodic-review-guinea, Nov. 05, 2009.
[5] U.S. Dept. of State, 2011 Human Rights Reports: Guinea, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2011/af/186203.htm, May 24, 2012. Human Rights Watch, The Perverse Side of Things, Torture, Inadequate Detention Conditions, and Excessive Use of Force by Guinean Security Forces, p. 15, http://www.hrw.org/en/reports/2006/08/21/perverse-side-things, Aug. 22, 2006.
[6] Human Rights Watch, UPR Submission, Guinea, November 2009, p. 3, http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2010/04/23/universal-periodic-review-guinea, Nov. 05, 2009.
[7] Human Rights Watch, UPR Submission, Guinea, November 2009, p. 4, http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2010/04/23/universal-periodic-review-guinea, Nov. 05, 2009.
[8] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, National report submitted in accordance with paragraph 15 (a) of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 5/1, Guinea, p. 8, para. 41, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/WG.6/8/GIN/1, Mar. 3, 2010.
[9] Human Rights Watch, UPR Submission, Guinea, November 2009, p. 3, http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2010/04/23/universal-periodic-review-guinea, Nov. 05, 2009.
[10] U.S. Dept. of State, 2011 Human Rights Reports: Guinea, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2011/af/186203.htm, May 24, 2012.
[11] U.S. Dept. of State, 2011 Human Rights Reports: Guinea, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2011/af/186203.htm, May 24, 2012.
[12] Human Rights Watch, The Perverse Side of Things, Torture, Inadequate Detention Conditions, and Excessive Use of Force by Guinean Security Forces, p. 16, http://www.hrw.org/en/reports/2006/08/21/perverse-side-things, Aug. 22, 2006.
[13] Human Rights Watch, The Perverse Side of Things, Torture, Inadequate Detention Conditions, and Excessive Use of Force by Guinean Security Forces, p. 17, http://www.hrw.org/en/reports/2006/08/21/perverse-side-things, Aug. 22, 2006.
[14] U.S. Dept. of State, 2011 Human Rights Reports: Guinea, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2011/af/186203.htm, May 24, 2012.
[15] Amnesty Intl., Human Rights in Republic of Guinea, Report 2008, http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/guinea/report-2008, last accessed May. 25, 2012.
[16] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, National report submitted in accordance with paragraph 15 (a) of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 5/1, Guinea, p. 8, para. 41, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/WG.6/8/GIN/1, Mar. 3, 2010.
[17] Human Rights Watch, UPR Submission, Guinea, November 2009, p. 3, http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2010/04/23/universal-periodic-review-guinea, Nov. 05, 2009.
[18] U.S. Dept. of State, 2011 Human Rights Reports: Guinea, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2011/af/186203.htm, May 24, 2012.
[19] Human Rights Watch, The Perverse Side of Things, Torture, Inadequate Detention Conditions, and Excessive Use of Force by Guinean Security Forces, p. 17, http://www.hrw.org/en/reports/2006/08/21/perverse-side-things, Aug. 22, 2006.
[20] U.S. Dept. of State, 2011 Human Rights Reports: Guinea, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2011/af/186203.htm, May 24, 2012.
[21] Human Rights Watch, The Perverse Side of Things, Torture, Inadequate Detention Conditions, and Excessive Use of Force by Guinean Security Forces, p. 17, http://www.hrw.org/en/reports/2006/08/21/perverse-side-things, Aug. 22, 2006.
[22] U.S. Dept. of State, 2011 Human Rights Reports: Guinea, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2011/af/186203.htm, May 24, 2012.
[23] Mark Warren, The Death Penalty Worldwide: Estimated Death Row Populations, http://users.xplornet.com/~mwarren/global.htm, Aug. 6, 2010.
[24] Mark Warren, The Death Penalty Worldwide: Estimated Death Row Populations, http://users.xplornet.com/~mwarren/global.htm, Aug. 6, 2010.
[25] U.S. Dept. of State, 2011 Human Rights Reports: Guinea, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2011/af/186203.htm, May 24, 2012.
[26] U.S. Dept. of State, 2011 Human Rights Reports: Guinea, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2011/af/186203.htm, May 24, 2012.
[27] U.S. Dept. of State, 2011 Human Rights Reports: Guinea, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2011/af/186203.htm, May 24, 2012.
[28] Constitution of the Republic of Guinea, art. 9, Decree D/068/PRG/CNDD/SGPRG/2010 promulgating the Constitution adopted on Apr. 19, 2010 by the National Transition Council, May 7, 2010.
[29] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, National report submitted in accordance with paragraph 15 (a) of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 5/1, Guinea, p. 8, para. 41, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/WG.6/8/GIN/1, Mar. 3, 2010.
[30] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Summary prepared by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in accordance with paragraph 15 (c) of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 5/1, Guinea, p. 5, para. 24, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/WG.6/8/GIN/3, Feb. 2, 2010.
[31] Human Rights Watch, Guinea: “We Have Lived in Darkness”: A Human Rights Agenda for Guinea’s New Government, p. 40, http://www.hrw.org/reports/2011/05/24/we-have-lived-darkness-0, May 24, 2011.
[32] Human Rights Watch, Guinea: “We Have Lived in Darkness”: A Human Rights Agenda for Guinea’s New Government, p. 40, http://www.hrw.org/reports/2011/05/24/we-have-lived-darkness-0, May 24, 2011.
[33] Human Rights Watch, Guinea: “We Have Lived in Darkness”: A Human Rights Agenda for Guinea’s New Government, p. 40, http://www.hrw.org/reports/2011/05/24/we-have-lived-darkness-0, May 24, 2011.
[34] Human Rights Watch, Guinea: “We Have Lived in Darkness”: A Human Rights Agenda for Guinea’s New Government, pp. 40-41, http://www.hrw.org/reports/2011/05/24/we-have-lived-darkness-0, May 24, 2011.
[35] Human Rights Watch, Guinea: “We Have Lived in Darkness”: A Human Rights Agenda for Guinea’s New Government, p. 42, http://www.hrw.org/reports/2011/05/24/we-have-lived-darkness-0, May 24, 2011.
[36] Human Rights Watch, Guinea: “We Have Lived in Darkness”: A Human Rights Agenda for Guinea’s New Government, p. 41, http://www.hrw.org/reports/2011/05/24/we-have-lived-darkness-0, May 24, 2011.
[37] Constitution of the Republic of Guinea, art. 9, Decree D/068/PRG/CNDD/SGPRG/2010 promulgating the Constitution adopted on Apr. 19, 2010 by the National Transition Council, May 7, 2010.
[38] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, National report submitted in accordance with paragraph 15 (a) of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 5/1, Guinea, p. 8, para. 41, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/WG.6/8/GIN/1, Mar. 3, 2010.
[39] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Summary prepared by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in accordance with paragraph 15 (c) of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 5/1, Guinea, p. 5, para. 24, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/WG.6/8/GIN/3, Feb. 2, 2010.
[40] Human Rights Watch, Guinea: “We Have Lived in Darkness”: A Human Rights Agenda for Guinea’s New Government, p. 40, http://www.hrw.org/reports/2011/05/24/we-have-lived-darkness-0, May 24, 2011.
[41] Human Rights Watch, Guinea: “We Have Lived in Darkness”: A Human Rights Agenda for Guinea’s New Government, p. 40, http://www.hrw.org/reports/2011/05/24/we-have-lived-darkness-0, May 24, 2011.
[42] Human Rights Watch, Guinea: “We Have Lived in Darkness”: A Human Rights Agenda for Guinea’s New Government, p. 40, http://www.hrw.org/reports/2011/05/24/we-have-lived-darkness-0, May 24, 2011.
[43] Human Rights Watch, Guinea: “We Have Lived in Darkness”: A Human Rights Agenda for Guinea’s New Government, pp. 40-41, http://www.hrw.org/reports/2011/05/24/we-have-lived-darkness-0, May 24, 2011.
[44] Human Rights Watch, Guinea: “We Have Lived in Darkness”: A Human Rights Agenda for Guinea’s New Government, p. 42, http://www.hrw.org/reports/2011/05/24/we-have-lived-darkness-0, May 24, 2011.
[45] Human Rights Watch, Guinea: “We Have Lived in Darkness”: A Human Rights Agenda for Guinea’s New Government, p. 41, http://www.hrw.org/reports/2011/05/24/we-have-lived-darkness-0, May 24, 2011.
[46] Human Rights Watch, Guinea: “We Have Lived in Darkness”: A Human Rights Agenda for Guinea’s New Government, pp. 34-43, http://www.hrw.org/reports/2011/05/24/we-have-lived-darkness-0, May 24, 2011.
[47] Human Rights Watch, Guinea: “We Have Lived in Darkness”: A Human Rights Agenda for Guinea’s New Government, p. 40, http://www.hrw.org/reports/2011/05/24/we-have-lived-darkness-0, May 24, 2011.
[48] Human Rights Watch, Guinea: “We Have Lived in Darkness”: A Human Rights Agenda for Guinea’s New Government, p. 40, http://www.hrw.org/reports/2011/05/24/we-have-lived-darkness-0, May 24, 2011.
[49] Human Rights Watch, Guinea: “We Have Lived in Darkness”: A Human Rights Agenda for Guinea’s New Government, pp. 40-41, http://www.hrw.org/reports/2011/05/24/we-have-lived-darkness-0, May 24, 2011.
[50] Human Rights Watch, Guinea: “We Have Lived in Darkness”: A Human Rights Agenda for Guinea’s New Government, p. 41, http://www.hrw.org/reports/2011/05/24/we-have-lived-darkness-0, May 24, 2011.
[51] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on the situation of human rights in Guinea, para. 34, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/16/26, Feb. 25, 2011. See also U.S. Dept. of State, 2009 Human Rights Report: Guinea, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/af/135957.htm, Mar. 11, 2010; U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Summary prepared by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in accordance with paragraph 15 (c) of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 5/1, Guinea, p. 5, para. 25, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/WG.6/8/GIN/3, Feb. 2, 2010.
[52] Human Rights Watch, Guinea: “We Have Lived in Darkness”: A Human Rights Agenda for Guinea’s New Government, p. 42, http://www.hrw.org/reports/2011/05/24/we-have-lived-darkness-0, May 24, 2011.
[53] Human Rights Watch, Guinea: “We Have Lived in Darkness”: A Human Rights Agenda for Guinea’s New Government, p. 41, http://www.hrw.org/reports/2011/05/24/we-have-lived-darkness-0, May 24, 2011.
[54] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on the situation of human rights in Guinea, para. 34, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/16/26, Feb. 25, 2011.
[55] Human Rights Watch, Guinea: Intensify Attention to Human Rights Challenges, http://www.hrw.org/news/2011/12/21/guinea-intensify-attention-human-rights-challenges, Dec. 21, 2011.
[56] Human Rights Watch, Guinea: “We Have Lived in Darkness”: A Human Rights Agenda for Guinea’s New Government, pp. 34-40, http://www.hrw.org/reports/2011/05/24/we-have-lived-darkness-0, May 24, 2011.
[57] Human Rights Watch, Guinea: “We Have Lived in Darkness”: A Human Rights Agenda for Guinea’s New Government, p. 39, http://www.hrw.org/reports/2011/05/24/we-have-lived-darkness-0, May 24, 2011.
[58] Penal Procedure Code of Guinea, arts. 251 & following, Law No. 037/AN/98, Dec. 31, 1998. Ibrahima Sidibe, Guinean Legal System and Research, GlobaLex, sec. III.B.2., http://www.nyulawglobal.org/globalex/Guinea1.htmhttp://www.nyulawglobal.com/globalex/Guinea.htm, Mar., 2008Apr. 2012. Human Rights Watch, Guinea: “We Have Lived in Darkness”: A Human Rights Agenda for Guinea’s New Government, pp. 38, 44, http://www.hrw.org/reports/2011/05/24/we-have-lived-darkness-0, May 24, 2011.
[59] Human Rights Watch, Guinea: “We Have Lived in Darkness”: A Human Rights Agenda for Guinea’s New Government, p. 38, http://www.hrw.org/reports/2011/05/24/we-have-lived-darkness-0, May 24, 2011.
[60] U.S. Dept. of State, 2011 Human Rights Reports: Guinea, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2011/af/186203.htm, May 24, 2012.
[61] Human Rights Watch, Guinea: “We Have Lived in Darkness”: A Human Rights Agenda for Guinea’s New Government, p. 38, http://www.hrw.org/reports/2011/05/24/we-have-lived-darkness-0, May 24, 2011.
[62] Human Rights Watch, Guinea: “We Have Lived in Darkness”: A Human Rights Agenda for Guinea’s New Government, p. 44, http://www.hrw.org/reports/2011/05/24/we-have-lived-darkness-0, May 24, 2011.
[63] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on the situation of human rights in Guinea, para. 35, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/16/26, Feb. 25, 2011.
[64] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on the situation of human rights in Guinea, para. 35, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/16/26, Feb. 25, 2011.
[65] U.S. Dept. of State, 2011 Human Rights Reports: Guinea, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2011/af/186203.htm, May 24, 2012.
[66] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Summary prepared by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in accordance with paragraph 15 (c) of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 5/1, Guinea, p. 5, para. 25, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/WG.6/8/GIN/3, Feb. 2, 2010.
[67] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, National report submitted in accordance with paragraph 15 (a) of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 5/1, Guinea, p. 7, para. 40, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/WG.6/8/GIN/1, Mar. 3, 2010.
[68] Human Rights Watch, Guinea: “We Have Lived in Darkness”: A Human Rights Agenda for Guinea’s New Government, p. 41, http://www.hrw.org/reports/2011/05/24/we-have-lived-darkness-0, May 24, 2011.
[69] Amnesty Intl., Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review: Eighth session of the UPR Working Group of the Human Rights Council, May 2010, p. 5, AFR 29/007/2009, Nov. 02, 2009. Amnesty Intl., Human Rights in Republic of Guinea, Report 2009, http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/guinea/report-2009, last accessed Sep. 22, 2010. Human Rights Watch, The Perverse Side of Things, Torture, Inadequate Detention Conditions, and Excessive Use of Force by Guinean Security Forces, p. 6, http://www.hrw.org/en/reports/2006/08/21/perverse-side-things, Aug. 22, 2006.
[70] Amnesty Intl., Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review: Eighth session of the UPR Working Group of the Human Rights Council, May 2010, p. 5, AFR 29/007/2009, Nov. 02, 2009.
[71] Human Rights Watch, The Perverse Side of Things, Torture, Inadequate Detention Conditions, and Excessive Use of Force by Guinean Security Forces, p. 12, http://www.hrw.org/en/reports/2006/08/21/perverse-side-things, Aug. 22, 2006.

Decisions of International Human Rights Bodies

Decisions of Human Rights Committee

Guinea was due to submit its last report to the Human Rights Committee in 1994, but as of May 2012 it had not yet done so. [1]

Decisions of Other Human Rights Bodies

Guinea’s last Universal Periodic Review by the Human Rights Council took place in May 2010. During the UPR, Guinea supported the following recommendations:

-to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture; [2]
-to uphold its obligations under international and African human rights treaties and to respect the right to life; [3]
-to ensure that its security personnel undergo human rights and humanitarian law training programmes to prevent extrajudicial killings, use of torture and other ill treatment; [4] and
-to build up an efficient and independent judiciary. [5]

In September 2010, Guinea responded to the remaining recommendations concerning the abolition of the death penalty, the ratification of the Second Optional Protocol to the ICCPR, and the institution of an official moratorium on executions. The Minister of Justice, speaking for his government, stated that “following high level consultations, it was decided that it was premature to include this question in the national debate, especially during this delicate transitional phase.” He went on to explain that the “solution would be to have a de facto moratorium.” [6]

In February 2011, the High Commissioner for Human Rights published a report on the situation of human rights in Guinea. While the report did not directly address issues related to the death penalty, the High Commissioner noted that “the judicial system in Guinea suffers from understaffing, a shortage of trained personnel and resources, and the lack of independence and corruption, which seriously hampers access to justice for victims of human rights violations and favours the general state of impunity in the country.” [7] The report also raised concerns about the small number of magistrates and lawyers in the country, referring to “fewer than 300 magistrates and 200 lawyers in the country, the vast majority of them based in Conakry.” [8]

References

[1] U.N.H.C.H.R., Report Status by Country, http://www.unhchr.ch/tbs/doc.nsf/NewhvVAllSPRByCountry?OpenView&Start=1&Count=250&Expand=71.2#71.2, last accessed May 29, 2012.
[2] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review, Guinea, p. 12, paras. 71.2-4, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/15/4, Jun. 14, 2010.
[3] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review, Guinea, p. 12, paras. 71.5, 71.34, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/15/4, Jun. 14, 2010.
[4] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review, Guinea, p. 13, para. 71.16, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/15/4, Jun. 14, 2010.
[5] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review, Guinea, p. 16, paras. 71.55-59, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/15/4, Jun. 14, 2010.
[6] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the Human Rights Council on its fifteenth session, Vice-President and Rapporteur: Ms. Bente Angell-Hansen (Norway), Advance Unedited Version, p. 40, para. 300, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/15/L.10, Oct. 1, 2010.
[7] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on the situation of human rights in Guinea, para. 34, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/16/26, Feb. 25, 2011.
[8] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on the situation of human rights in Guinea, para. 34, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/16/26, Feb. 25, 2011. See also U.S. Dept. of State, 2009 Human Rights Report: Guinea, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/af/135957.htm, Mar. 11, 2010; U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Summary prepared by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in accordance with paragraph 15 (c) of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 5/1, Guinea, p. 5, para. 25, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/WG.6/8/GIN/3, Feb. 2, 2010.

Additional Sources and Contacts

Direct member(s) of World Coalition Against the Death Penalty

Avocats sans frontières Guinée (ASF Guinée)
Labila Michel Sonomou
President
T2, Kaparo rails, Commune de Ratoma
Conakry, Guinée
Tel: +224 62 33 37 20
avocatssansfrontieres.guinee@yahoo.fr

Avocats sans frontières Guinée (ASF Guinée)
Aimé Christophe Labilé Kone
Secrétaire Administratif
T2, Kaparo rails, Commune de Ratoma
Conakry, Guinée

Mêmes droits pour tous (MDT)
Mr. Foromo Frédéric Loua
President/Advocat Principal
Immeunble sis à l'Archevêché, rue du marché niger, Kouléwondy, commune de Kaloum
5728 Conarky, Guinée
Tel: +224 62 33 46 19, +224 60 29 93 66
mdtguinee@yahoo.fr

Other non-governmental organizations and individuals engaged in advocacy surrounding the death penalty

None.

Helpful Reports and Publications

Amnesty Intl., Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review: Eighth session of the UPR Working Group of the Human Rights Council, May 2010, AFR 29/007/2009, Nov. 02, 2009.

Amnesty Intl., Human Rights Annual Report 2012: Guinea, http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/guinea/report-2012, last accessed May 29, 2012.

Human Rights Watch, Guinea: “We Have Lived in Darkness”: A Human Rights Agenda for Guinea’s New Government, http://www.hrw.org/reports/2011/05/24/we-have-lived-darkness-0, May 24, 2011.

Human Rights Watch, The Perverse Side of Things, Torture, Inadequate Detention Conditions, and Excessive Use of Force by Guinean Security Forces, http://www.hrw.org/en/reports/2006/08/21/perverse-side-things, Aug. 22, 2006.

Human Rights Watch, UPR Submission, Guinea, November 2009, http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2010/04/23/universal-periodic-review-guinea, Nov. 5, 2009.

Ibrahima Sidibe, Guinean Legal System and Research, GlobaLex, http://www.nyulawglobal.org/globalex/Guinea1.htm, Apr. 2012.

U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Summary prepared by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in accordance with paragraph 15 (c) of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 5/1, Guinea, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/WG.6/8/GIN/3, Feb. 2, 2010.

U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review, Guinea, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/15/4, Jun. 14, 2010.

Additional notes regarding this country

Human Rights Watch observes that “[t]he largely free and fair election that brought Condé to power in December 2010 was widely viewed in Guinea as having the potential to end over 50 years of authoritarianism, human rights abuse, and corruption. But over the past year, there have been new security force abuses, including killings, a concentration of power in the executive, weak implementation of the rule of law, and a worrying rise in ethnic tensions.” [1]

References

[1] Human Rights Watch, Guinea: Intensify Attention to Human Rights Challenges, http://www.hrw.org/news/2011/12/21/guinea-intensify-attention-human-rights-challenges, Dec. 21, 2011.

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