Guinea: Political leader Etienne Soropogui arrested for criticizing ruling junta
Etienne Soropogui, a high profile political leader in Guinea Conakry, was arrested Saturday after slamming the ruling junta on a local popular radio station.
The leader of Nos Valeurs Communes [Our Common Values] (NVC), according to his lawyer Salifou Béavogui, was collared by around 50 officers of the gendarmerie after he spoke on a show on Radio fim FM.
“As soon as he left the radio, about fifty gendarmes, according to the information he gave me, intercepted him and took him to the Central Directorate of Judicial Investigations of the National Gendarmerie where he was detained, without any offence being reported for the moment,” Beavogui told French media RFI.
The lawyer slammed the arrest that he branded arbitrary and unjust and not based on any law.
“He has not yet been interrogated and he has not been notified of anything, absolutely nothing. He is on hold. Is it a custody that has already begun? He has not been notified of anything according to the law. He is here and unfortunately, he [spent] his first night at the gendarmerie illegally,” he added.
The junta led by Mamady Doumbouya took power September last year after removing democratically elected then leader Alpha Omar.
The junta is at odds with regional body ECOWAS which has demanded a roadmap for the return to a constitutional order. The regional organization last week announced a set of gradual sanctions on the military group leading the West African country.
“Those who incite this group of soldiers to become radicalized, to enter into a configuration of arm wrestling with both national actors and the international community, are not doing the junta any good. I believe that they are being called upon to do reality check, and that it will be better for them and better for our country,” the political figures said in the show also relayed on Youtube.