Brussels, 1 October 2009 (ITUC OnLine):
The ITUC has strongly condemned the brutal repression of demonstrators in Conakry and has reiterated the call for maximum sanctions against the perpetrators and instigators of the barbaric acts perpetrated on Monday 28 September in Guinea, when over 150 people were killed, 1200 injured and numerous women were raped in the middle of the street.
"The trade union movement is in a state of shock," said Guy Ryder, general secretary of the ITUC. He also expressed his serious concern over the situation in the country following these incidents: the head of the junta has banned all gatherings considered to be subversive, erecting an alarming barrier to activities in defence of human rights, including trade union rights and freedom of expression. Terror continues to grip the country, the threats continue, the victims' remains have not been returned to their families and people are reportedly being placed under arbitrary detention. In addition, many of those injured do not have access to the necessary medical care.
Insisting on the need to restore peace and stability to Guinea, the ITUC has called on the junta to ensure the immediate and unconditional release of all those arrested, and the return of all the victims' remains, including those disappeared, so that appropriate funeral ceremonies can be held. Medical and hospital care must also be urgently provided to the political leaders and all the other demonstrators who were seriously injured, and all the victims must receive compensation for the harm suffered. "Respect for freedom of expression and opinion must be guaranteed without delay," continued Guy Ryder. "What happened on 28 September is inadmissible."
The international trade union movement also insisted on the need to set up an international and totally independent commission of inquiry, to investigate the massacre and exactions of 28 September and the days following these incidents. Such a commission is the only way of ensuring that the instigators and perpetrators of these crimes are genuinely brought to justice.
All governments and supra-regional bodies have been called on to take immediate targeted sanctions against members of the junta and the authors of these acts of violence, such as the freezing of their assets and travel bans on these individuals and their close relatives. At the beginning of October, the ITUC General Council is to meet in Berlin (Germany) and will look into this matter. Trade unions across all continents have expressed their solidarity with the Guinean people.