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Equatorial Guinea

    March 19, 2019
    His passport and phone are confiscated   He was sent back home handcuffed and put on a military plane At least three unidentified individuals seen moving around his house doing surveillance

    Authorities in Equatorial Guinea should immediately return a passport and phone to a prominent human rights activist who was banned from leaving the country and then handcuffed, put on a military plane and sent back to his home town, Amnesty International said today, with a call to guarantee his safety and freedom of movement.

    Alfredo Okenve was arrested on 15 March after having been banned from receiving in the capital Malabo the “Franco-German prize for human rights” for his work. 

    “This ban shows how determined the authorities are in restricting Alfredo Okenve’s ability to do his legitimate work in Equatorial Guinea even when he is due to receive an award for his courageous work to defend and promote human rights,” said Marta Colomer, Amnesty International’s Senior Campaigner for West Africa.

    March 08, 2019

    © Joaquín Elo Ayeto

    DOWNLOAD PDF OF UA 15/19 HERE

    Human rights defender Joaquín Elo Ayeto was arrested on 25 February. He is accused of having information on a plot to kill the president. According to reliable sources, Joaquín was subjected to torture at least twice while at Central Police Station. The torture resulted in physical injuries. He was also threatened with death by police at the station. He is detained at Black Beach Prison. Since Saturday 2 March, neither his lawyer nor his family has been allowed to see him. 

    During the arrest at his house in Malabo, Joaquín Elo Ayeto asked for the reason and was told only “You will find out later”. He was taken to the Central Police station in Malabo where he was questioned about an alleged plot to kill the president. According to reliable sources, he was beaten severely at least twice and was hung up from his hands. 

    February 15, 2019

    Grave Concern Detainees Have Been Tortured, Killed

    Equatorial Guinea named a French anti-corruption lawyer in an arrest warrant against 16 people, in apparent retaliation for his involvement in a money laundering trial against the president’s eldest son, nine human rights and anti-corruption groups said today.

    The warrant accuses the 16 targets of laundering money and helping to finance “terrorism and the proliferation of arms trafficking in Central Africa.”

    Named in the warrant are also people already in police custody accused of participating in a December 2017 coup attempt. They have been unable to communicate with their families or lawyers since their arrest, raising serious concern about their risk of torture and other ill treatment and in some cases their right to life, the organizations said.

    March 07, 2018

    Officer Admits Superiors Ordered Dubious Charges

    (Nairobi, March 7, 2018) – An Equatorial Guinean court on March 7, 2018 released an artist imprisoned on dubious charges for nearly six months, 18 human rights groups said today. The prosecution dropped all charges against Ramón Esono Ebalé, a cartoonist whose work is often critical of the government, at his February 27 trial after the police officer who had accused him of counterfeiting $1,800 of local currency admitted making the accusation based on orders from his superiors.

    "It is a huge relief that the prosecution dropped its charges against Ramon, but they should never have been pressed in the first place," said Salil Tripathi, chair of PEN International's Writers-in-Prison Committee. "We urge the authorities to guarantee his safe return to his family, allow him to continue creating his hard-hitting cartoons, and ensure that Equatorial Guinea respects the right to freedom of expression.”

    February 22, 2018
    Amnesty International publishes State of the World’s Human Rights report for 2017 to 2018 “Last year our world was immersed in crises, with prominent leaders offering us a nightmarish vision of a society blinded by hatred and fear. This emboldened those who promote bigotry, but it inspired far more people to campaign for a more hopeful future,” says Salil Shetty, head of Amnesty International

    The world is reaping the terrifying consequences of hate-filled rhetoric that threatens to normalize massive discrimination against marginalized groups, Amnesty International warned today as it launched its annual assessment of human rights.

    Nevertheless, the organization found that a growing movement of both first-time and seasoned activists campaigning for social justice provides real hope of reversing the slide towards oppression.

    The report, The State of the World’s Human Rights, covers 159 countries and delivers the most comprehensive analysis of the state of human rights in the world today.

    March 21, 2015

    Equatorial Guinea must release a human rights defender detained simply for campaigning against the unlawful arrest and subsequent restriction of movement imposed on opposition leader Guillermo Nguema, Amnesty International and EG Justice said today.

    Luis Nzo was arrested yesterday 19 March 2015 in the capital Malabo while he was peacefully distributing leaflets and using a megaphone to denounce the arrest of opposition leader Guillermo Nguema, and his arbitrary transfer to Mongomo, hundreds of miles away from the capital. Nguema was threatened not to leave Mongomo and is facing severe unlawful restrictions of movement.

    “The arrest of Luis Nzo and the restriction on freedom of movement of Guillermo Nguema underscore Equatorial Guinea’s current disrespect for human rights,” said Marta Colomer Aguilera, Amnesty International West Africa Campaigner.  

    “Luis Nzo must be immediately and unconditionally released, and all restrictions of movement lifted from Guillermo Nguema. There is no legitimate reason to justify this – it is simply a crackdown on dissent.”  

    January 29, 2015

    (Dakar)- Equatorial Guinea must immediately and unconditionally release three men arrested two weeks ago, suspected solely of peacefully protesting against the country’s hosting of Africa’s top soccer competition, a group of leading international human rights and transparency organizations said today.

    Amnesty International, the Asociación Pro Derechos Humanos de España, EG Justice, the Open Society Justice Initiative, and the Plataforma Portuguesa das ONGD are calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Celestino Okenve, Antonio Nguema and Miguel Mbomio.

    “Exercising freedom of expression should never be the basis for imprisonment, and reflects poorly on Equatorial Guinea’s role as host of the Africa Cup of Nations. The authorities should immediately and unconditionally release these human rights activists, whom Amnesty International considers to be Prisoners of Conscience,” said Steve Cockburn, Amnesty International deputy regional director for West and central Africa.

    October 24, 2014

    Equatorial Guinea’s government should reveal the names and the reasons for the arrest of all prisoners set to benefit from the country’s newly announced amnesty on political crimes, Amnesty International said today.

    President Obiang Nguema signed a decree this week granting an amnesty to all individuals convicted or facing trial for political offences in the country. However, it does not clearly define “political crimes”, nor clarify how many people will benefit from the amnesty.

    ‘‘This decree would be an encouraging step for human rights in Equatorial Guinea if it leads to the release of people imprisoned solely for the peaceful exercise of their human rights, but the authorities must be transparent about the details,” said Stephen Cockburn, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for West and Central Africa.

    “The government must ensure that these prisoners are released immediately and that their families and others are kept informed of all developments.”

    May 15, 2013

    The arrest of at least nine activists who were trying to organize a peaceful demonstration in Equatorial Guinea is further evidence of the authorities’ determination to clamp down on free speech ahead of up-coming elections, Amnesty International said.

    Two of those arrested were Clara Nsegue Eyi and Natalia Angue Edjodjomo, the founders of the newly created party Partido Democrático de la Justicia Social (Democratic Party for Social Justice) and coordinators of the Movimiento de Protesta Popular ( People’s Protest Movement). They were detained on 13 May and are reportedly being held incommunicado at Malabo Central Police Station.  

    They were planning to host a peaceful protest on 15 May to demand the registration of their political party, which the authorities had previously refused to allow.  

    Jerónimo Ndong, Secretary General of the opposition party Unión Popular (People’s Union), who was also involved in the organization of the protest, was arrested this morning. He too is being held at the Central Police Station.

    May 07, 2013

    Serious human rights violations and denial of fundamental freedoms in Equatorial Guinea are casting a shadow over campaigning ahead of the May 26, 2013 legislative elections, Amnesty International, EG Justice, and Human Rights Watch said in a statement released today.

    The organizations expressed concern over several incidents of politically motivated arrests in recent months. They also cited ongoing harassment of the country’s political opposition, reports of voter intimidation, and the denial of free speech and other rights in the lead-up to the election. Human Rights Watch and EG Justice also expressed concern about biased electoral processes and restrictive conditions for international observers.

    “President Obiang often says that Africans should demand a voice in global affairs, but he denies one to the people of Equatorial Guinea,” said Tutu Alicante, executive director at EG Justice, which presses for human rights and the rule of law in Equatorial Guinea. “The sad truth is that Equatoguineans have never experienced a free and fair election.”

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