Equatorial Guinea: A Dismal Record of Broken Promises
Equatorial Guinea: A Dismal Record of Broken PromisesAmnesty International | July 10, 1995
Promises to respect human rights, made repeatedly since the adoption of a multi-party political system in 1992, have proved to be empty gestures, this report claims. Such promises are made when the country's record is under scrutiny or when the donor community threatens to cut aid. Once further aid has been pledged, repression of peaceful political activity resumes undiminished. This report outlines AI's concerns in Equatorial Guinea during the period April 1994 to May 1995. It describes some 30 cases of arbitrary detention and other cases of unfair trial and torture. It notes the escalation of human rights violations at crucial times such as during the compilation of an electoral census prior to the holding of municipal elections.
""The atmosphere of insecurity, fear and oppression is almost palpable." (Amnesty International delegate visiting Equatorial Guinea in July 1994).
The government of Equatorial Guinea has repeatedly promised to improve human rights: these promises have turned out to be cynical and empty gestures. When the country's human rights record is under international scrutiny and donors threaten to cut aid, the government loosens its hold over opposition activities and says it will respect human rights. Once further aid has been pledged, the repression of political opponents resumes unabated and the security forces continue to act as a law unto themselves.
In theory Equatorial Guinea has had a multi-party political system since 1992. The reality is very different. Every day pro-democracy activists are harassed, arbitrarily detained for days or weeks and ill-treated. Opposition leaders have been convicted after manifestly unfair show trials on false charges of attempting to overthrow the state. Many have been tortured.
The population as a whole is at the mercy of the security apparatus. The security forces are not held accountable for their actions and obey no laws but their own will. The intimidating presence of the security apparatus is everywhere and ordinary citizens have no protection against abuses of power. Brutality and corruption are rife..."
External Linkshttp://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/AFR24/009/1995/en ,
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