(CNN) UNESCO Suspends Prize Named for African Leader

(CNN) UNESCO Suspends Prize Named for African Leader

October 21, 2010
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A U.N. agency has suspended a prize funded by and named for Equatorial Guinea's president, whose government has been accused of human rights abuses.

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu of Cape Town has joined other Nobel laureates and more than 60 professionals from Equatorial Guinea in objecting to the prize, Human Rights Watch said in a news release.

It said critics of the prize called the suspension "a positive move and thanked UNESCO members who had opposed the award."

"The way Teodoro Obiang has governed Equatorial Guinea undermines all the values UNESCO stands for," said Tutu Alicante, executive director of the organization EG Justice -- a group dedicated to human rights in the country. He is quoted in the Human Rights Watch news release.

"The suspension is a sign that the Obiang government cannot pull the wool over the eyes of the international community with empty human rights public relations campaigns. We will continue working for the prize's cancellation and expect the [UNESCO] executive board to fulfill its commitment to protect the organization's integrity." ...

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