Equatorial Guinea: A Parody of a Trial in order to Crush the Opposition

Equatorial Guinea: A Parody of a Trial in order to Crush the Opposition

Amnesty International | July 1, 2002
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The trial of 144 people accused of attacking state security was held in Malabo, the capital of Equatorial Guinea, between May 23 and June 9, 2002. Amnesty International's observer mission concluded that the trial was characterized by serious human rights violations and countless procedural irregularities.

"The trial of 144 people accused of attacking state security was held in Malabo, the capital of Equatorial Guinea, between 23 May and 9 June 2002. Statements made to the court by one of the defendants describe a trial which can only be termed a parody of justice: “They interrogated me hanging up there with my eyes covered and my arms bound”. 

The people prosecuted at the trial were part of a group of over 150 people who were arrested from March 2002. They included members or former members of the armed forces, and relatives of leaders of the Fuerza Demócrata Republicana (FDR), Republican Democratic Force, a political party which had not yet been legalized. All appeared to have been arrested solely because of their alleged links with the FDR.

In Amnesty International’s opinion, this trial was organized with the sole aim of eliminating the last peaceful political opponents resisting the permanent harassment to which they were subjected by the authorities of Equatorial Guinea. Amnesty International considers all those convicted at the trial to be prisoners of conscience who were imprisoned because of their political beliefs or their relationship with opposition leaders and who have not used or advocated violence. Amnesty International is therefore calling for the immediate and unconditional release of all those convicted at a trial in which the unfair and severe sentences passed were based solely on statements extracted from the accused by means of the torture to which they were submitted while being held in incommunicado detention..."

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