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CIVIL SOCIETY LEADERS JAILED IN GUINEA OVER PROTEST

The former Minister received a one-year jail term for inciting civil disobedience, while four others received six-month sentences each, and three others were acquitted, but both the defence and the prosecution, which had been seeking five-year sentences, said that they planned to appeal.

Penpushing further reports that, the defendants were arrested in the days leading up to the protests, but one of the  lawyers, Mohamed Traore while reacting said, “everything has been done to silence our clients for a long time because it has been decided they will be obstacles to (Conde’s) plan to seek a third term,”

The 81-year-old  President Conde, whose second and final five-year term expires in 2020, has refused to rule out running again and asked his government in September to look into drafting a new constitution, but his opponents  were of the view that , that could be used as a reset button on his presidency.

Penpushing also reports that, the opponents this could  allow him(Conte) to run again like other African leaders, who have amended or changed constitutions in recent years to stay in power, while his critics have accused him of cracking down on dissent and violently repressing protests.

Meanwhile, the President’s first election win in 2010 raised hopes for democratic progress in Guinea after two years of military rule and nearly a quarter of a century under authoritarian President Lansana Conte, who died in 2008.

 

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