West African bloc ECOWAS condemns Bissau beatings

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West African regional bloc ECOWAS on Saturday condemned the security forces in Guinea-Bissau for human rights violations after soldiers killed the country’s president last month.
The Commission of the Economic Community of West African States said it was specifically concerned about the beatings of a former prime minister and a well-known lawyer in recent weeks, Reuters adds.
“These acts represent a disturbingly growing pattern of impunity and complete disregard for the dignity of persons by the security forces,” ECOWAS said in a statement.
Amnesty International on Wednesday accused members of the armed forces of beating Francisco Jose Fadul, who served briefly as prime minister in the late 1990s.
Fadul was in hospital in intensive care along with lawyer Pedro Infanda, who Amnesty said was detained arbitrarily by soldiers last week and beaten for four days.
“ECOWAS wishes to remind the government and security agencies of Guinea-Bissau of their cardinal responsibility to uphold the law and to reiterate its determination to ensure that impunity is punished,” the regional bloc said.
Soldiers killed President Joao Bernardo “Nino” Vieira last month in a revenge attack after an explosion killed his rival, military chief General Batista Tagme Na Wai. Elections are expected in June.