we sign it - Free Mamadou Billo Sy Savané

Free Mamadou Billo Sy Savané

  As you all know, my dad, Mamadou Billo Sy Savané, who is a retired economics professor in Rouen, was wrongfully imprisoned in Guinea on October 8th. He was ambushed by agents of Alpha Condé, the Guinean president, and taken to prison without due process of law. He has been charged with the slander of the president. The regime of Alpha Condé has yet to provide the public with any evidence of his crimes. My father’s primary purpose is to protect and serve the common man, not to attack Alpha Condé. However, they are on oposite sides of the political spectrum. Mamadou Billo Sy Savané is, and always has been, an outspoken proponent of a true democracy in Guinea.

Dear friends, sisters, and brothers,

As you all know, my dad, Mamadou Billo Sy Savané, who is a retired economics professor in Rouen, was wrongfully imprisoned in Guinea on October 8th. He was ambushed by agents of Alpha Condé, the Guinean president, and taken to prison without due process of law. He has been charged with the slander of the president. The regime of Alpha Condé has yet to provide the public with any evidence of his crimes. My father’s primary purpose is to protect and serve the common man, not to attack Alpha Condé. However, they are on oposite sides of the political spectrum. Mamadou Billo Sy Savané is, and always has been, an outspoken proponent of a true democracy in Guinea.

Prompted by the irregularities noticed by the international community, Mamadou Sy Savané denounced the electoral fraud in the recent presidential elections in 2010, as well as the legislative elections of September 28th, 2013. My father bases his arguments on the observations of not only himself, but also his concerned peers in the international community. He did not simply make warrantless accusations.

We learned of his arrest from a family friend the morning of Wednesday the 9th, at 1 am. This was 12 hrs after he was arrested. After this, all communication with him was cut off. We immediately contacted the Quai d’Orsay, the French Embassy. We also created an online community via facebook, as well as an online petition dedicated to the imediate release of Sy Savané (http://liberezsysavane.wesign.it/fr). We obtained a strong mobilization by attaining 2000 signatures in less than a week. This brought the media’s attention.  Thanks to the cooperation and dedication of an international community of support, he was released from prison the night of October 14th.

However, despite his release, he is not free. He is wrongfully placed under judiciary restriction. He cannot leave the country, and he has to check in with the prosecutor twice a week. As of today, we still do not have specific information on the charges. This means for almost a week, our lives have been interrupted and still no formal charges have been filed. We live in uncertainty about the next step of this process.It is like is held hostage in Guinea.

It is for these reasons, I call on Laurent Fabius, the Foreign Affairs Minister. I ask that he intervenes so that Mamadou Billo Sy Savané,  French-Guinean, former economics and law professor, and a man who dedicated his career to the education of young minds, can come back to see the family he so loves. We ask him to demand an end to legal action against my father, and to ensure his safety. We rely on the French government to intervene with Alpha Condé, a member of the Socialist International, to respect the rights and freedoms of everyone.

A shocking arrest.

 I would like to clearly define the circumstances surrounding my father’s arrest. He was invited to debate his ideas by a radio station in Conakry on October 8th, 2013. When he arrived with his friend at the radio station, heavily armed police officers dressed in civilian clothes encircled my father and his friend, and took them to prison. Sy Savané’s friend was released within 24 hrs. Prisons in Guinea are a place to die. This sad fact is confirmed by organizations such as Amnesty International. Nobody gets out unscarred. A recent example: the young Boubacar Sow, transferred to hospital in Senegal died over there as a result of torture when he was imprisoned in Guinea with 32 other young people have campaigned for the opposition.

But Condé knows. He himself was imprisoned by the old regime have strongly opposed it. He wrote several times that he lived atrocity.During Condé’s imprisonment, Sy Savané clearly denounced this false arrest and was one of the first to organize a support group for Condé’s freedom. My father did all of this despite the difference in his and Condé’s political ideas because he cannot stomach injustice, "whoever disrespects the democratic values will find me on his door step".                          This is the irony of fate that he is in the same prison of the man he once defended.

The Guinean political regime now wants to silence all those who, like Sy Savané, denounce economic mismanagement and political excesses. That is why my father, that I got on the phone yesterday, thanks  those who spontaneously mobilized in France and around the world and ask them to continue to mobilize, to remain vigilant to ensure that Guinea does not return in the darkest hours of its history.

My friends, your efforts and unconditional support are deeply appreciated by my family. However, the fight is not finished. As you can see, his only crime was his opinion. He needs to be allowed to come to France and gain the loving support of his family during this difficult time. He is innocent. We must remain vigilant because they are releasing him to lull us into a false sense of security so that they can reimprison him after some of the international attention has died. This has happened to others; do not let Condé deceive our vigilance. Let us make sure it does not happen anymore.

Sign and share our petition. Show your support for the basic human right of free speech by supporting my father. With all of our voices, Laurent Fabius will have to hear.  

Thank you for your support!

Rachel Sy Savané

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