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Aug-26-2010 22:51printcomments

Equatorial Guinea: Abduction, Torture then Execution

Reports of torture and executions are off the charts.

Map of Equatorial Guinea

(PORTLAND, Ore.) - Equatorial Guinea has been criticized by the United Nations for abducting refugees from neighboring countries and holding them in secret detention.

Amnesty International (AI) reviles these abductions and detentions; today they released a statement condemning the recent execution of four men, all unfairly convicted of attempting to assassinate the country’s President.

José Abeso Nsue, Manuel Ndong Anseme, Alipio Ndong Asumu and Jacinto Michá Obiang were executed on August 21 immediately after being convicted by a military court in the country's capital Malabo.

“These men were convicted after an unfair trial, sentenced to death and executed with chilling speed without having the slightest opportunity to appeal their sentence,” said Erwin van der Borght, Africa Director Amnesty International.

The four men had been living as refugees in Benin for a number of years when Equatorial Guinean security forces abducted them in January.

The former military officers were then secretly detained in Black Beach prison in Malabo until they reportedly “confessed” to the attack on the presidential palace, February 17 2009.


AI received reports that they were tortured until confession was made possible. “Equatorial Guinea must put an end to the abductions, torture and executions it currently carries out under the pretence of justice,” Erwin van der Borght told Salem-News.com.

Reports also suggested José Abeso asked to see his family when the sentence was handed down, however his wife and son arrived at Black Beach prison an hour after he had already been executed.

The Nigerian armed group Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta was initially blamed for the presidential attacks. As a result numerous Nigerians were rounded up, imprisoned and expelled from Equatorial Guinea.

In April, seven Nigerian fishermen and traders, were arrested at sea, then sentenced to 12 years in prison for attempting to assassinate the president.

Initially acquitted in April, two Equatorial Guinean members of the opposition party People’s Union (Unión Popular – UP), were then convicted last week on the same charges. Marcelino Nguema and Santiago Asumu were sentenced by the Malabo military court to 20 years and one day in prison.

“Marcelino Nguema and Santiago Asumu were tried twice on the same charges in a clear violation of international law. We consider them prisoners of conscience and are calling for their immediate and unconditional release,” said Erwin van der Borght.

*Sources: Amnesty International

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Alysha Atma spends many hours working on projects that support and benefit the beleaguered people of African nations who spend way too much time off the western media's radar. This writer explains that she is a culmination of all her experiences, most importantly knowledge she says, and all that she still needs to learn; lessons of love, laughter and the extraordinary giving of both young and old. She says she has the enormous fortune of learning from the best; every person around her, and the amazing strength and fortitude of those she has never met but will always strive to listen to. "I continue to work and write because I believe in the power of community and the power of one, both contradictory to each other and yet can move together in a very powerful way. I feel a responsibility to use my place, freedoms and connections here in the US to stand up and yell for those who need my voice and actions. I have seen such strength in my fellow humans that I cannot even begin to comprehend, they have traveled distances, have gone without food, water, shelter and safety for days and weeks at a time. I have a responsibility as a fellow human to put our common humanity before anything else. Everyone deserves to look towards tomorrow, to dream of a safe future and to have a peaceful present." You can write to Alysha Atma at: alysha.atma@gmail.com




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