Violence and Retaliation against Political Opposition
Violence and Retaliation against Political OppositionEG Justice April 22, 2016
The Equatorial Guinea government carried out violent attacks over the last 24 hours against members of opposition party Ciudadanos por la Inovacion (CI, Citizens for Innovation).
(Tampa, 22 April 2016) The Equatorial Guinea government carried out violent attacks over the last 24 hours against members of opposition party Ciudadanos por la Inovacion (CI, Citizens for Innovation), ahead of Sunday’s presidential elections. EG Justice vehemently condemns such actions and demands the Equatoguinean government to ensure free and fair elections.
According to CI party members interviewed by EG Justice, police in Malabo have surrounded the party’s headquarters since 3:40 a.m. local time. The police fired bullets and tear gas against CI members, gravely wounding at least six individuals. Approximately 150 members remain huddled inside the compound, including the wounded. Forty individuals have been arbitrarily arrested. Without any judicial warrant or charges pressed against him, the police is demanding that the Secretary General of the party, Gabriel Nze Obiang, hands himself over.
In Bata, CI supporters report that at least 140 individuals were arbitrarily arrested at the airport and taken to Bata’s Police Central Station, while waiting to welcome a party delegation that would have included Mr. Nze Obiang. CI fears the police might have tortured some of its members that were illegally detained in Bata.
This violence and brutality—arbitrary arrests, intimidation, physical abuse—against CI supporters, members of the Union Centro Derecha, journalists, and civilians, in addition to the lack of basic guarantees for a democratic process, seriously undermine Equatoguinean citizens’ rights to a free, fair, and transparent election.
EG Justice will continue to monitor the situation in Equatorial Guinea in the hours leading up to, and during this Sunday’s presidential election.
We sternly call on the government of Equatorial Guinea to:
- Investigate any allegations of politically motivated violence by the state security apparatus, in a transparent and timely manner;
- Respect the rights to free assembly and expression;
- Prohibit police from using teargas and other force simply because the police deem an otherwise peaceful gathering unlawful;
- Ensure that police and other state agents refrain from any intimidation, obstruction, threats, harassment, and arbitrary arrest of political opponents.