Justice in Guinea on Wednesday 11 January acquitted a civil society figure prosecuted for taking part in undeclared public meetings, after a trial criticized as a further challenge to rights under the ruling junta.
A court in the suburbs of Conakry ruled that Abdourahmane Sano, former coordinator of a collective for the defense of democracy, had breached the obligation to declare, but that the law had provided no penalty for this offense, noted an AFP correspondent.
Silence the opposition
The public prosecutor had requested at the hearing on Monday an 18-month suspended prison sentence against Abdourahmane Sano for his participation in undeclared meetings, one of which in November in a school had been filmed.
Abdourahmane Sano is setting up a new movement.
The judgment was scrutinized by defenders of rights, in a context of pressure on freedoms and the opposition.
The junta that took power by force in 2021 has banned demonstrations since May 13, 2022.
The opposition accuses him of confiscating power and silencing any dissenting voices through arrests of personalities and judicial inquiries.
Before Wednesday's deliberations, a group of human rights organizations said in a press release that they were "very concerned" about the lawsuits against Abdourahmane Sano.
He demanded "an end to the continuous judicial harassment against pro-democracy activists".
Read alsoWashington expresses its “doubts” on the re-election of the president of Equatorial Guinea
The National Alliance for Alternation and Democracy (Anad), a coalition of parties and associations, denounced before the judgment the "authoritarian drifts" of the junta and "the excessive instrumentalization of justice".
A role in the protest
Abdourahmane Sano was the coordinator of the National Front for the Defense of the Constitution (FNDC), a collective which for months led the protest against former President Alpha Condé, who was finally overthrown by the military in 2021. Abdourahmane Sano has distanced himself with the FNDC.
The FNDC remained active under the junta, demanding the rapid return of civilians to power and maintaining a rare contradiction with the military.
The junta pronounced the dissolution of the FNDC.
Two of the FNDC leaders, Oumar Sylla alias Foniké Mangué and Ibrahima Diallo, have been detained since July 2022.