- The Guinea Bissau Court President Francisco José Fadul was beaten by military personnel at his home in the country’s capital Bissau in the morning, Amnesty International has said in a statement.
Mr Fadul, the former Prime Minister of Guinea-Bissau who is currently reportedly in an intensive care at the Simão Mendes National Hospital in Bissau has reportedly held a press conference on 30 March calling on the government to hold the military accountable for the endemic corruption and other crimes.
According to Amnesty International, Mr Fadul was beaten in the early hours of this morning by four military officials who hit him with the butts of their firearms charging him of being a ‘talkative’. “He received injuries all over his body including the head and a stab wound on his arm,” the statement said.
The official’s beating, follows yet another assault by the military of a well-known lawyer Pedro Infanda, who was arrested, severely beaten and tortured for four days by military officials before being transferred to police custody. He is also reported to be at the Simão Mendes National Hospital.
Mr Infanda was reportedly arrested by military officials on Monday 23 March and taken from his office to the Quartel Amura de Bissau military installation, where he was severely beaten with wooden objects for four days, and tortured.
Amnesty International’s Africa Programme Director Erwin van der Borght accused Bissau military of using extreme measures against any opposition or criticism to instill fear among its critiques.
“The government must investigate immediately these arrests and beatings by the military, and ensure those responsible are brought to justice and that similar attacks do not happen again,” he said.
Amnesty International has also expressed concern that the military has been permitted to arrest and detain civilians in violation of national laws.
The statement said the unlawful arrests and ill-treatment by the military were also a violation of Guinea-Bissau’s international human rights obligations.
Guinea-Bissau which has become a hub for drug trafficking syndicates is a highly volatile country, with a long history of coups and military rebellions.
Since 2000, soldiers have killed three Chiefs of Staff of the Armed Forces, as well as other high ranking military officers. Those responsible for the killings were not brought to justice, according to Amnesty international
Last month Guinea Bissau troops gunned down President João Bernardo Vieira when he tried to flee his presidential palace after the army had accused him of plotting the explosion that took the life of General Tagme Na Waie.
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