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Guinea: United Nations pledges support for justice and accountability as trial for stadium massacre begins

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  The UN chief paid tribute on Wednesday to the hundreds of victims and their families of a 2009 stadium massacre in Guinea s capital as some of the ringleaders allegedly responsible for the gruesome deaths of more than 150 people that day were judged In addition to the deaths during the opposition rally protesting the military government on September 28 women and girls were raped after security forces blocked the exits to the stadium in Conakry before opening fire Some protesters were shot to death or brutally attacked with knives while others were trampled to death UN Secretary General Ant nio Guterres said he took note of the start of the trials and said the families of those killed and those who witnessed the events that day have waited for justice for so many years Supporting Justice In a statement issued by his Spokesperson Mr Guterres reaffirmed the UN s commitment to supporting efforts to uphold justice and accountability It calls on the authorities to ensure that the trials are carried out in accordance with due legal process so that the perpetrators are held accountable and the victims receive reparation Guinea s former military ruler Moussa Dadis Camara is in the dock along with 10 other officers all accused of having responsibility for the soldiers who allegedly carried out the massacre and other crimes that day The Secretary General urges the authorities to further ensure that human rights are respected throughout the country s political transition process the statement said He reiterates the solidarity and support of the United Nations for regional efforts to accompany the return to constitutional order in Guinea Sexual mutilation and slavery Acting UN human rights chief Nada Al Nashif also welcomed the start of the proceedings noting that many of the 156 who disappeared or were killed during what had been a peaceful demonstration They had been tortured to death with their bodies buried in mass graves The head of the OHCHR added that at least 109 girls and women had suffered sexual violence including sexual mutilation and sexual slavery The UN Commission of Inquiry in 2009 concluded that there was a strong presumption that crimes against humanity were committed and that there are reasonable grounds to suspect individual criminal responsibility Waiting for 13 years Victims and relatives have been waiting for truth justice and reparation for 13 years The opening today of this long awaited judicial process is a crucial step for Guinea in its fight against impunity said Ms Al Nashif As a result of the events the UN Commission of Inquiry with the support of the UN Human Rights Office was mandated to establish the facts and circumstances of the event identify those responsible and make recommendations Since 2009 we have been advocating for fair and independent trials We call on all authorities involved to ensure that this important trial is conducted in a victim sensitive manner and in accordance with international standards and due process added the Acting High Commissioner Accountability is essential for wounds to heal and for reconciliation she stressed Only the beginning ICC Prosecutor International Criminal Court ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan addressed groups of survivors and others in the courtroom in Conakry on Monday before proceedings began and He said On this important day I applaud the people of Guinea the survivors and those who lost their loved ones The start of the trial is just the beginning he added My office will be watching closely The presumption of innocence is fundamental to justice This judgment rests not only on the shoulders of the judges and the parties It is the collective responsibility of the people of Guinea
Guinea: United Nations pledges support for justice and accountability as trial for stadium massacre begins

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Secretary-General Ant

The UN chief paid tribute on Wednesday to the hundreds of victims and their families of a 2009 stadium massacre in Guinea‘s capital, as some of the ringleaders allegedly responsible for the gruesome deaths of more than 150 people that day were judged.

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In addition to the deaths, during the opposition rally protesting the military government on September 28, women and girls were raped, after security forces blocked the exits to the stadium in Conakry, before opening fire.

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Some protesters were shot to death or brutally attacked with knives, while others were trampled to death.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres said he took note of the start of the trials and said the families of those killed and those who witnessed the events that day “have waited for justice for so many years.”

Supporting Justice In a statement issued by his Spokesperson, Mr. Guterres reaffirmed the UN’s commitment to supporting efforts to uphold justice and accountability.

“It calls on the authorities to ensure that the trials are carried out in accordance with due legal process, so that the perpetrators are held accountable and the victims receive reparation.” Guinea’s former military ruler, Moussa Dadis Camara, is in the dock, along with 10 other officers, all accused of having responsibility for the soldiers who allegedly carried out the massacre and other crimes that day.

“The Secretary-General urges the authorities to further ensure that human rights are respected throughout the country’s political transition process,” the statement said.

“He reiterates the solidarity and support of the United Nations for regional efforts to accompany the return to constitutional order in Guinea.”

‘Sexual mutilation and slavery’ Acting UN human rights chief Nada Al-Nashif also welcomed the start of the proceedings, noting that many of the 156 who disappeared or were killed during what had been a peaceful demonstration They had been tortured to death.

with their bodies buried in mass graves.

The head of the OHCHR added that at least 109 girls and women had suffered sexual violence, “including sexual mutilation and sexual slavery.”

The UN Commission of Inquiry in 2009 concluded that there was a “strong presumption that crimes against humanity were committed” and that “there are reasonable grounds to suspect individual criminal responsibility”.

Waiting for 13 years “Victims and relatives have been waiting for truth, justice and reparation for 13 years.

The opening today of this long-awaited judicial process is a crucial step for Guinea in its fight against impunity,” said Ms. Al-Nashif.

As a result of the events, the UN Commission of Inquiry, with the support of the UN Human Rights Office, was mandated to establish the facts and circumstances of the event, identify those responsible and make recommendations.

“Since 2009, we have been advocating for fair and independent trials.

We call on all authorities involved to ensure that this important trial is conducted in a victim-sensitive manner and in accordance with international standards and due process,” added the Acting High Commissioner.

“Accountability is essential for wounds to heal and for reconciliation,” she stressed.

‘Only the beginning’: ICC Prosecutor International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Karim Khan addressed groups of survivors and others in the courtroom in Conakry on Monday, before proceedings began, and He said: “On this important day, I applaud the people of Guinea, the survivors and those who lost their loved ones.”

The start of the trial, “is just the beginning,” he added.

“My office will be watching closely.

The presumption of innocence is fundamental to justice.

This judgment rests not only on the shoulders of the judges and the parties.

It is the collective responsibility of the people of Guinea.”

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