By G9ija

A court in Guinea sentenced an opposition activist to 11 months in prison on Thursday, in the latest instance of a critic of President Alpha Conde receiving a jail term.

The decision comes after Conde, 82, won a third presidential term in the poor West African nation in a violently disputed election on October 18.

He ran after pushing through a new constitution last March which allowed him to sidestep the country’s two-term limit, provoking mass protests.

Dozens of people were killed during demonstrations, often in clashes with security forces. Hundreds were also arrested.

On Thursday, a court in the capital Conakry sentenced Oumar Sylla, a member of the opposition coalition FNDC, to 11 months in prison for inciting an “armed gathering”.

Police in late September arrested Sylla — who is also known as Fonike Mangue — for driving around the Conakry suburbs encouraging people to join a protest against a Conde third term.

“We will win. Down with injustice. This is Alpha Conde’s decision,” Sylla told to the courtroom before officers led him away, amid shouts from his supporters.

One of Sylla’s lawyers, Alseny Aissata told AFP by phone that he was “surprised” by the court’s decision.

“We are going to file an appeal,” he added.

The FNDC also released a statement on Thursday saying that the ruling “cannot silence the voices of dissent to the regime of terror established by the despot Alpha Conde”.

Guinean courts have handed down jail terms to several other opposition activists this month, in what rights groups have described as a crackdown on dissent.

Two opposition figures have also died in pre-trial detention in the former French colony, drawing criticism from the United States and European Union.

A former opposition activist himself, Conde became Guinea’s first democratically elected president in 2010 and won re-election in 2015 before doing so again last year.

Critics accuse him of veering towards authoritarianism, however.

AFP