15 October 2009 The International Criminal Court (ICC) confirmed today that its prosecutor is looking into last month’s events in Guinea, where at least 150 people were killed when security forces opened fire on an opposition rally.
“A preliminary examination of the situation has been immediately initiated in order to determine whether crimes falling under the Court’s jurisdiction have been perpetrated,” according to a news release issued by the Court, which is an independent, permanent body that investigates and prosecutes people accused of genocide, crimesThis is appalling, unacceptable. It must never happen again. Those responsible must be held accountable against humanity and war crimes.
The Court said that the Prosecutor’s Office has taken note of “serious allegations” surrounding the events of 28 September in the capital, Conakry.
“From the information we have received, from the pictures I have seen, women were abused or otherwise brutalized on the pitch of Conakry’s stadium, apparently by men in uniform,” said Deputy Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda.
“This is appalling, unacceptable. It must never happen again. Those responsible must be held accountable,” she added.
Top UN officials have condemned the violent suppression of the 28 September demonstration which High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay has characterized as a “blood bath.”
Guinea has been a State Party to the Rome Statute, which set up the ICC, since July 2003. “As such the ICC has jurisdiction over war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide possibly committed in the territory of Guinea or by nationals of Guinea, including killings of civilians and sexual violence,” the Court stated.
Other situations under preliminary examination by the ICC Prosecutor include Afghanistan, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Georgia, Kenya, and Palestine.
Currently, four situations – the Central African Republic (CAR), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Uganda and the Darfur region of Sudan – are under investigation by the Prosecutor.
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