Guinea: AFEX Condemns Arrest of Activist, Calls for His Immediate Release

The African Freedom of Expression Exchange (AFEX) condemns the arbitrary arrest of Guinean political activist Souleymane Condé, by authorities in Guinea and calls for his immediate release.

Condé was arrested on September 12, 2020, shortly after he held a press conference to launch a new pro-opposition political movement, Diversite Republicaine de Guinee (DRG).

According to the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), the activist, who is known for the numerous videos he posts on social media in which he attacks the Alpha Conde’s regime, said at the press conference that Guinea’s upcoming October 18, presidential elections will be rigged.

He was subsequently arrested at his home and taken into detention at the Criminal Investigations Division of the Police.

His lawyer, Salif Beavogui, also told the MFWA the activist “is detained at the criminal investigations department of the police. He will be arraigned before a Magistrate’s court at Dixinn tomorrow (September 15). From all indications, he was arrested for his social media publications.”

A police source is reported to have said that Condé “has produced videos in which he used a certain plain language. He does things that are not in line with the law, and that is why he was arrested.”

Condé was the coordinator of the Front National pour la defense de la Constitution (FNDC), formed in 2019 to coordinate opposition to Guinea’s President Alpha Conde’s bid to change the constitution in order to seek a third term in office. The FNDC has said Condé’s is a case of scores-settling by the government.

AFEX is urging the authorities in Guinea to respect and protect constitutional provisions that guarantee freedom of association, freedom of expression and freedom of assembly. We urge them to release Souleymane Condé.