Guinea sanctioned for massacre

OTTAWA — The Canadian Press has learned that Canada will announce diplomatic sanctions today against Guinea over September’s brutal crackdown in the West African country.

OTTAWA — The Canadian Press has learned that Canada will announce diplomatic sanctions today against Guinea over September’s brutal crackdown in the West African country.

The new tough line will also include a call to the United Nations to speed an investigation into the Sept. 28 rape and killing of at least 150 opposition supporters.

They were attacked by uniformed troops at political rally in a soccer stadium in Conakry, the capital.

A senior government official said Ottawa waited until La Francophonie officially suspended Guinea this week from the organization of French-speaking countries before announcing its actions.

The Foreign Affairs Department is to announce a diplomatic “freeze” that will prevent Guinean officials from travelling to Canada to expand the embassy staff in Ottawa.

It will also announce more stringent screening measures on Guineans seeking visas to come to Canada.

The action follows the release of a report by the New York-based Human Rights Watch that concludes the stadium violence “likely amounted to crimes against humanity.”

The 108-page report, released Thursday and titled, Bloody Monday: The Sept. 28 Massacre and Rapes by Security Forces, accuses members of the elite Presidential Guard of orchestrating a systematic attack on the demonstrators.

“The serious abuses carried out in Guinea on Sept. 28 were clearly not the actions of a group of rogue, undisciplined soldiers, as the Guinean government contends,” spokesman Peter Bouckaert said in a statement.

Human Rights Watch investigators interviewed 240 witnesses, among them 28 victims of sexual violence, some of whom were dragged from the stadium to endure days of gang rapes.

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