Amnesty Int’l on “increasing repression” in Guinea Bissau
Amnesty International has spoken of “increasing repression" amid the military Last Thursday's coup in Guinea Bissau.
In a statement, Amnesty said “growing restrictions on protesters, the media and freedom of movement are fuelling fear and insecurity in the wake of the military coup in Guinea Bissau.”
Since soldiers removed the civilian government from power, the junta has announced the setting up of a transitional government in collaboration with some political parties, despite condemnation of the coup by the United Nations Security Council, the African Union (AU) and the sub-regional bloc, ECOWAS.
The coup is also said to have been condemned by representatives of all the defeated presidential candidates, who took part in last month’s first round of election.
“Increasingly repressive measures are being employed by the military as they try to stifle mounting criticism within the country and internationally,” said Marisé Castro, Amnesty International’s Guinea Bissau expert.
Guinea Bissau’s Prime Minister Carlos Gomes Junior, who won the first round but less than the threshold required for an outright, and the interim President have reportedly been taken to a military camp in northern Guinea Bissau.
Amnesty International has said sources in the capital, Bissau has informed the London-based rights group “that military check points and road blocks have sprung up around the city – particularly along the road to the airport – and vehicles are being stopped and searched.”
The group said the military has also “violently repressed” spontaneous, peaceful demonstrations by women and young people.
“Over the weekend some protesters were beaten with guns by soldiers and one protestor was reportedly stabbed in the leg and is now in hospital in a serious but stable condition,” Amnesty said.
The media in Guinea Bissau are also said to be target of the new junta’s crack down.
According to Amnesty, all private radio stations were shut down in the immediate aftermath of last Thursday’s military coup.
Those that attempted to reopen were again taken off air, if they criticized the military.