Guinea Conakry

Published in 2024

Legal sources

Executive Summary

Guinea has ratified the United Nations Convention against Corruption, which commits it to introducing protective legislation for whistleblowers into its national law. The country has a legal framework that can be applied to whistleblowers, but it is clear that the efforts made to make it effective are largely insufficient.

Despite the existence of legislative provisions to combat corruption, the country remains in 147th place out of 180 in Transparency International’s 2022 Corruption Perceptions Index.

Unfortunately, the contexts of democratic and security transition since the coup of September 2021 have negatively impacted certain public freedoms, such as press freedom, and are not, in this first semester of 2023, conducive to the emergence of a whistleblower culture in Guinea.

Laws and measures related to whistleblowers

⮚ Decree promulgating Law L/2017/041/AN of July 4, 2017, on the prevention, detection, and repression of corruption and related offences.

At the international level, on May 29, 2013, Guinea Conakry ratified the United Nations Convention against Corruption, whose Articles 32 and 33 emphasise the need for effective protection against retaliation, intimidation, and threats to witnesses, victims, or experts, notably through the establishment of a comprehensive and effective internal legal framework to ensure such protection.

The decree promulgating Law L/2017/041/AN of July 4, 2017, on the prevention, detection, and repression of corruption and related offences provides for special protection by the State for whistleblowers, repentants, informants, witnesses, experts, and victims of corruption or related offences against potential acts of retaliation or intimidation. For all cases of reporting of funds or seizures of assets, whistleblowers are entitled to an incentive bonus (Article 100).

Article 101 of the decree specifies the modalities of application of this protection in that it applies to “shareholders, directors, company secretaries, employees, registered unions representing employees, suppliers, and supplier employees.” The article adds that the protection “extends to any person who discloses objective and disinterested information and who reasonably believed, at the time of disclosure, that such information indicates or tends to indicate that a public or private entity, a joint venture or private company, a director, or the designated officer, acting in that capacity, has committed an offence against laws and regulations that could expose said entity or company to actual or potential risks or liabilities, or would be detrimental to the interests of that entity or company.”

Thus, it appears that the type of whistleblowing recognised by this decree only concerns whistleblowing within companies, making it a limited form of protection.

Furthermore, Article 102 protects the anonymity of whistleblowers when the disclosures are likely to endanger their lives or physical integrity, as well as those of their relatives. Lastly, article 104 states: “The whistleblower or witness may not remain anonymous if, having regard to the circumstances in which the offence was committed, or the character of the whistleblower or witness, knowledge of the identity of the person proves essential for the exercise of the rights of the defence”. 

Protection is therefore provided for certain whistleblowers, but the question arises as to whether it is effective.

⮚ Protection under Criminal law

At the domestic level, in the preamble of the new Guinean Penal Code, it is mentioned that the country “reaffirms its commitment to building a state governed by the rule of law through the promotion of good governance and also to combating corruption and economic crimes.” Despite this, this text does not provide any measures to protect whistleblowers. Indeed, this code could have included provisions to criminally sanction those who are guilty of acts of retaliation against whistleblowers. Article 367, in fact, punishes breaches of secrecy; it states: “The disclosure of information of a secret nature by a person who is the custodian, either by status or by profession, or by reason of a temporary function or mission, is punishable by imprisonment of 6 months to 1 year and a fine of 500,000 to 2,000,000 Guinean francs, or one of these two penalties only.”

However, Article 705 of the same code stipulates that it is necessary to inform judicial and administrative authorities of “any crime that can still be prevented or limited in its effects, or whose perpetrators are likely to commit new crimes that can be prevented (…).” Failure to comply with this provision exposes individuals to sanctions. However, this provision does not apply to persons subject to secrecy as provided for in Article 367.

Finally, Article 722 states: “The act, for any person who has publicly declared knowledge of the perpetrators of a crime or offence, of refusing to answer questions posed to them in this regard by a judge is punishable by imprisonment from 6 months to 1 year and a fine of 500,000 to 1,000,000 Guinean francs.” The same code specifies that false testimony is punishable by imprisonment from 1 to 3 years and a fine of 500,000 to 1,000,000 Guinean francs (Article 723).

⮚ Protection under Labour law

Article 8 of the Labor Code provides that “no one may be sanctioned or dismissed for having undergone, reported, or testified” acts constituting harassment in the workplace. It also prohibits “violence, sexual harassment, and moral harassment” (including the creation of an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating, or offensive environment). However, there is no specific reference to whistleblowing.

Article 13 states that “(…) Opinions that workers, regardless of their position in the professional hierarchy, express in the exercise of the right of expression cannot be grounds for disciplinary sanctions or dismissal.”

Fixed-term contracts cannot be terminated before their term except in cases of force majeure or “serious misconduct” (Article 171.4), but in the absence of additional details in the Labor Code, it is difficult to say whether whistleblowing could fall into this latter category. Indefinite contracts can be terminated for “personal reasons,” including professional incompetence or misconduct (Article 172.7). It is the employer’s responsibility to prove wrongful conduct in case of dispute.

The disclosure of “confidential information about the company to third parties” exposes the employee to disciplinary sanctions under Article 212.1 of the Labor Code even when it occurs outside of working hours and premises.

Article 513.12 specifies that “labour inspectors and controllers are bound by professional secrecy. They swear not to disclose, even after leaving the service, trade secrets or processes of operation they became aware of in the exercise of their function. As such, they are also bound by confidentiality regarding the source of complaints reporting a defect in the installation or a violation of legal provisions as well as regarding the possible link between a complaint and the inspection visit.” This provision could ensure the anonymity of the whistleblower who reports illegal activities.

⮚ Mechanism for referring cases to the National Anti-Corruption Agency (ANLC)

The ANLC, established by Decree D/2017/219/PRG/SGG promulgating Law L/2017/041/AN of July 4, 2017, on the prevention, detection, and repression of corruption and related offences, is an institution responsible for the prevention, detection, and repression of corruption. With national jurisdiction, it is placed under the direct authority of the President of the Republic. With the advent of the National Rally for Development Committee (CNRD), which took power in Guinea after the September 2021 coup and whose president is Colonel Mamadi Doumbouya, all citizens, including those in the diaspora, whether employed or not, from the public or private sector, from civil society, the media, and any foreigner have the right to submit complaints of corruption and related offenses to the ANLC.

Without an official website, it is on its Facebook page that the ANLC has invited citizens to contact it to report illegal activities they witness. Thus, on Facebook, a tool available and accessible to all, the agency aims to reach as many people as possible and encourage the population to blow the whistle. However, it would be advisable to support this agency in creating a website or a more secure platform because the use of Facebook to denounce illicit acts could expose citizens to certain risks.

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the ANLC is one of the least financially supported anti-corruption institutions in West Africa. Furthermore, it was established by decree, which would make its legal basis relatively weak. Bernard Goumou, Prime Minister and Head of Government since August 2022, reportedly urged the Executive Secretary of the ANLC, Saikou Amadou Diallo, “to promote data collection, improve the effectiveness of the public communication system, and strengthen the whistleblower protection mechanism.”

Knowledge, support and action centers

The Foundation for Democracy and Governance (FDG), established in 2015 and registered under Belgian law, aims to support all judicial procedures aimed at criminally prosecuting behaviours contrary to the public interest. In this regard, it proposes to host a dedicated page on its website for whistleblowers and citizens holding information that could establish operations involving embezzlement, corruption, and influence peddling.

Contact: Gregory Mathieu, President

Tel: +45 12345678

The Guinean Association for Transparency (AGT) is a non-profit organisation specialising in the fight against corruption and the promotion of good governance in Guinea. This organization engages in advocacy and regularly organizes capacity-building activities for local actors.

Contact: Oumar Kana Diallo, President

Tel: +224 622 40 41 42

Acting for Peace and Development in Guinea (APDG) is a non-political, non-profit organisation. In addition to its awareness-raising and security-strengthening activities, it fights against corruption and promotes democracy and good governance.

Contact: Aminata Tounkara, President

Tel: +224 622 90 41 82 / 820 98 44 44

The Citizen Broom Cell of Guinea is a non-governmental organisation promoting good governance and social dialogue. The Citizen Broom of Guinea is “an organisation to clean up democratic, economic, and financial mismanagement and to purify peacefully.”

The Club Humanitaire sans Frontières (CHF) is an NGO established in 2014. Apolitical, non-denominational, and non-profit, its mission is to contribute to the promotion of good governance to foster the socio-economic and sustainable development of states. It worked with OCWAR-M in raising awareness among Guinean civil society organisations about the fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism. CHF played a coordinating and animating role in this training activity and effectively identified relevant participants for the two sessions held in January and March 2022.

Contact: Chérif Diallo, President

Tel: +224 621 946 705 / 623 124 176 /

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Legal Notice - Copyright 2024

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Copyright 2022