Guinea: ITUC demands release of union leader

photo: Cellou Binani AFP. Guinea has been ruled by the military since a coup in September 2021.

The ITUC calls for the immediate and unconditional release of Sekou Jamal Pendessa, Secretary-General of the Union of Press Professionals of Guinea (SPPG), who was imprisoned after a peaceful protest against media restrictions.

Sekou Jamal Pendessa is a prominent figure in the fight for press freedom and workers’ rights in Guinea. The ITUC understands that he was arrested as part of a growing crackdown on civil liberties in the country carried out by the military regime.

ITUC General Secretary Luc Triangle said: “This arrest and the increasing repression we see in the country raises serious concerns about the state of democracy and freedom of expression in Guinea.

“We support the strike called by affiliates in Guinea and condemn the violence of security forces that has reportedly killed two protesters.

“We call on the military government to release Sekou Jamal Pendessa unconditionally and immediately, to stop the violent crackdowns and respect fundamental rights, such as the right to freedom of speech and to peaceful protest.

“It is time for the military regime to talk to trade unions, end the current crisis and put Guinea back on the road to democracy.

“We stand in solidarity with Sekou Jamal Pendessa, the trade unions and all the working people in Guinea at this very difficult time.”

The SPPG is affiliated to the ITUC affiliate, the National Confederation of Workers of Guinea (CNTG).

Guinea has been ruled by the military since a coup in September 2021.