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Eight Guinean opposition leaders in court for dissent

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Eight Guinean opposition leaders in court for dissent

The crackdown on anti-government demonstrators continues in Guinea as eight opposition leaders have gone on trial for protesting against the government.

Authorities in Guinea said the opposition members were charged to court for organising protests against President Alpha Conde’s plans to seek a third term in office.

Reports said the opposition members who belong to an alliance of political parties, unions and pressure groups – face sentences ranging from three to five years in jail.

The development came a day after opposition members called for the second day of protest amid a crackdown on anti-government demonstrators.

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At least four people were killed – one of them a gendarme – in clashes on Tuesday as outraged protesters rallied against a potential revision to Guinea’s constitution that would allow President Condé to seek a third term in office.

Government and military statements published on Guinean news website Mediaguinée saw a cabinet minster, Gen. Bourema Conde, describing the protesters as “unpatriotic” and the armed forces’ chief of staff calling them “irresponsible.”

Reports said live ammunition and tear gas were reportedly fired in clashes between demonstrators and security forces in Conakry with violent protests recorded in the cities of Labé, Mamou, and Kindia.

The rights group claimed several civil society leaders have also been arrested and according to the BBC, the homes of the two main opposition politicians – Sydia Touré and former Prime Minister Cellou Diallo – are currently surrounded by police and gendarmes.

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