A concerned citizen filmed police using a woman as a human shield in Conakry, Guinea on January 29. The FRANCE 24 Observers team spoke with a man who cared for the woman after the incident, to find out what happened and how she is doing.
The video, which is just over three minutes long, shows a police officer holding onto a woman and pushing her in front of him as he advances alongside several other officers. The police were facing off with several young men during the latest in a series of protests against the possibility of President Alpha Condé serving a third term.
The three officers push the woman in front of them for several metres, apparently to protect themselves from the rocks that the young men are throwing. Eventually, the scene ends in chaos after one of the officers fires a shot. The police retreat, one grabbing the woman and half-dragging, half-carrying her.
She ran into the police officers, who told her to keep close because there were a group of rowdy young protesters nearby. But it was a trap because it quickly became clear that the officers actually wanted to use her as a shield from the young men, who were throwing rocks at them. The police had run out of tear gas and so they decided that they’d use this woman to keep themselves safe. They wanted to negotiate with the protesters, but they refused.