Equatorial Guinea: A Country Subjected to Terror and Harassment
Equatorial Guinea: A Country Subjected to Terror and HarassmentAmnesty International | January 1, 1999
Following an attack on several military barracks in 1998 more than 110 people were subjected to unfair trials. All resulting convictions, including the death penalty, were based on confessions extracted under torture. This report provides details of the initial human rights abuses suffered by the Bubi population following the attack, the resulting trials and the conditions under which the prisoners are detained. It also examines the continuing harassment of political opponents and the impunity enjoyed by those who perpetrate the abuses.
""One of his feet became infected because of the torture, gangrene set in, and he went crazy. He was eating his own shit, he didn't realize what he was doing". This is one of the many eyewitness testimonies collected by an Amnesty International delegation which visited Equatorial Guinea in May 1998. The victim - who eventually died in detention - was Ireneo Barbosa Elobé. He was one of about 500 people arrested in January and February 1998. These arrests followed an attack in January 1998on several military barracks on Bioko Island, during which three soldiers and several civilians were killed. Most detainees, including women, were arrested solely because of their ethnic origin. Many were tortured by the security forces and at least six died as a result.
One year earlier, in February 1997, the President of Equatorial Guinea, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, had publicly admitted for the first time that human rights had been systematically violated in his country and had announced that measures would be taken to end these abuses. The massive human rights violations which followed the January 1998 attacks clearly showed that this presidential statement was just one more unfulfilled promise aimed at appeasing domestic and international criticism and at obtaining economic aid.
Most of the people arrested were members of the Bubi ethnic group, the indigenous population of Bioko Island. Bubis were beaten in the streets; women were raped in their homes. Members of the security forces watched without intervening as mobs beat and raped Bubis. Relatives of people wanted by the security forces, including women and elderly, were taken as hostages to force the fugitives to give themselves up..."
External Linkshttp://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/AFR24/001/1999/en ,
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