Guinea: Coronavirus

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 30th June 2020.

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Photo of Stephen Doughty Stephen Doughty Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs), Shadow Minister (International Development)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the (a) political and human rights situation in the Republic of Guinea and (b) the effect of the covid-19 pandemic on that country.

Photo of James Duddridge James Duddridge Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development)

Holding answer received on 29 June 2020

The UK Government is concerned by the deteriorating human rights and political environment in Guinea and the demonstrations that have led to violence in recent months. On 27 February, I set out the UK Government's deep concern over the violence and civilian deaths, following the announcement of legislative elections in Guinea and in the lead up to the referendum on the constitution. The elections and referendum were then postponed until 22 March. We urge the Government of Guinea to respect democratic institutions and all forms of human rights, including the right to peaceful protest. It was deeply saddening that there was a further loss of life on the day the election and referendum were held in Guinea. The UK has urged the Government of Guinea to ensure that all deaths are properly investigated. We encourage all parties, the Government and the Opposition, to engage in constructive dialogue, refrain from violence and protect democracy.

We continue to raise our concerns with representatives of the Government of Guinea, through our Ambassador in Conakry, on civic and political issues including the importance of respect for the rule of law, and the need for elections to be free and fair. The UK will continue to work with the Government of Guinea, international partners and regional institutions both to support Guinea's democracy and stability and to improve the day-to-day lives of all Guineans.

The elections took place against the challenging context of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are working with the Government of Guinea to support them in their own response to COVID-19. To support the people of Guinea, we are funding a programme of mass media communications to increase the public's awareness and understanding of the pandemic, and we have offered the Government of Guinea technical assistance in responding to the economic impacts of COVID-19.

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