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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: La population guinéenne placée sous surveillance

by S.-H. M

The Guinean Population Under Surveillance

Translated Friday 16 March 2007, by Chidubem

Our correspondent experienced the threatened labour union leaders isolation as they hesitate to speak to the press about their situation.

Right from the time the indefinite general strike was announced, the government responded with a bloody crack down and the establishment of a twenty hour per day curfew - lightened from yesterday but with only two additional hours of authorized outings. It is forbidden for people to meet one another, to move around; phone calls are tapped and the police can search individual homes and arrest anyone appearing to violate these arrangements.

Thus all day, on Tuesday, we sought, in vain, to get some information from the trade-union leaders. Wanting to protect their families who were already being openly threatened, they all maintained that they would not able to talk with us on the phone as they all believed that that they were being bugged. In their neighbourhoods, one could hear shootings very near their houses.

Only the emblematic labour union leader, Rabiatou Serah Diallo, who treated these methods of intimidation with contempt, responded. She did so late Tuesday night, taking great precautions so as not to be found out. She hinted us of her and her union’s determination not to be muzzled. Although, at the moment, the decision makers of the movement could neither see nor communicate with each other to work out a strategy.

Since the curfew began on Monday, twenty-two demonstrators have been killed by either soldiers or the police, which, from the confrontation reports, raises the number up to about 110 deaths, since the beginning of strike on 10 January.

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