Letter to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

Letter to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

September 10, 2010
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An EG Justice letter, signed by more than 100 Equatoguineans, sent to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asking her to condemn the illegal and unjust executions of four Equatoguineans on August 21, 2010 by the Equatoguinean government.

Dear Secretary Clinton:

In January 2010, the government of Equatorial Guinea kidnapped four UN-recognized refugees, José Abeso Nsue, Manuel Ndong Anseme, Alipio Ndong Asumu and Jacinto Michá Obiang.  For seven months, Equatoguinean forces held them in Black Beach prison, without communication with their families or a lawyer, and tortured them into “confessing” to the alleged attack on the presidential palace on February 17, 2009, which the government had previously blamed on armed Nigerian militants.  Then, in August, the men were tried before a military tribunal for a summary trial rather than in civilian court.    The two military officers sent to represent them had no legal training.  On August 21, the men were convicted on charges of terrorism, treason, and attempting to assassinate President Obiang Nguema.  They were sentenced to death, and their executions were immediately carried out.  Mr. Abeso Nsue reportedly asked to see his family after the passing of the sentence but had already been executed when his wife and son arrived at Black Beach prison one hour later.

The same military tribunal used sparse evidence to convict and sentence Marcelino Nguema Esono and Santiago Asumu – two members of the political opposition – to 15 years in prison for their alleged roles in the same February 2009 incident. Troublingly, a civilian court had tried and acquitted the two men in March 2010 for the same charges brought in the tribunal.  This retrial and subsequent conviction directly violates the Constitution of Equatorial Guinea, which disallows such “double jeopardy.”

This is not the first time that the government of Equatorial Guinea has violated the rights of refugees living in other countries....

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