Conakry – A Guinean prosecutor on Sunday said the circumstances surrounding the death of a man during a protest would soon be revealed but warned people against exploiting his funeral to demonstrate.
Thierno Mamadou Diallo, 19, was shot dead on Wednesday during clashes between security forces and protesters demonstrating against rising fuel prices. Relatives say he was not involved in the protest.
The ruling military junta had banned political protests on May 13.
His death – one of the first tied to clashes between the authorities and protesters – revived memories of those killed between 2019 and 2021 during demonstrations against ex-leader Alpha Conde’s bid for a third term in office.
The junta led by Colonel Mamady Doumbouya toppled Conde and has ruled Guinea since last September.
It has promised to break with past practices, with human rights activists condemning Conde’s regime for an excessive use of force against civilians and the impunity of security forces.
But the junta’s decisions to investigate and arrest prominent Guineans and ban protests until an election in three years’ time have sparked growing discontent against its perceived authoritarianism.
Speaking to reporters on Sunday after meeting Diallo’s relatives, Alphonse Charles Wright, a prosecutor in the capital Conakry, said the results of investigations into his death would be revealed on Monday.
These would include how he died and the likely suspects, he added, saying the bullet that killed Diallo had been found.
The National Front for the Defence of the Constitution (FNDC), which led the protests against Conde, plans to demonstrate during Diallo’s burial on Monday under the slogan “Justice, never again”.
Such ceremonies have degenerated in the past, and Wright warned against politicising ongoing legal proceedings, saying the organisers would be arrested and prosecuted if disturbances broke out.
The FNDC called Wright’s comments “belligerent” and said they brought up “the dark memories of the repression of protests”.
The junta on Tuesday rejected a UN appeal to revoke the ban on protests.
West Africa’s regional bloc examined the situation in Guinea during a summit in Ghana on Saturday, saying it was concerned by the absence of dialogue and rising political tensions.
Guinea has been suspended from the organisation’s decision-making bodies and faced sanctions as the junta delays returning power to civilians.