After Concluding Its Mission to Equatorial Guinea, UN Independent Experts Express Serious Concern at the Execution of Four Men

After Concluding Its Mission to Equatorial Guinea, UN Independent Experts Express Serious Concern at the Execution of Four Men

United Nations Office at Geneva | August 30, 2010
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This press release discusses the circumstances surrounding the execution of four Equatoguineans in Equatorial Guinea in August 2010.

"Two members of the UN Working Group on the use of mercenaries* Amada Benavides de Pérez, Chairperson, and José-Luis Gomez del Prado, member of the Group, concluded a five day visit to Equatorial Guinea on 20 August 2010, to investigate activities of mercenaries in the country and their impact on human rights. The Group focused in particular on the investigations and prosecutions related to the armed attack on the presidential palace by alleged mercenaries on 17 February 2009 as well as on the 2004 coup attempt and its aftermath. In accordance with its mandate, the Group also inquired about the activities of private military and security companies operating in Equatorial Guinea. (...)

Concerning the 17 February 2009 attack on the presidential palace by alleged mercenaries, the Working Group received information that the Government arrested seven Nigerians and nine equato-guineans in relation to this attack. The Working Group regrets the lack of transparency on the part of the authorities, in particular that it did not have access to the judicial decisions, nor to those who stood trial and are still in detention. 

The Group is particularly concerned at the information that on 21 August 2010, three former military officers and one civilian were executed after a summary military trial in which they were found guilty on treason and terrorism charges. The Working Group strongly condemns this execution, which follows a summary trial that severely lacked due process and the fact that the sentence was carried out the same day denying the defendants all possibility of appeal. The Group could not obtain information on how the four men, who had taken refuge in Benin, were brought back into the country. They appear not to have been subjected to formal extradition procedures..."

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