Document - Equatorial Guinea: Human rights defender falsely arrested: Wenceslao Mansogo Alo

URGENT ACTION

UA: 75/12 Index: AFR 24/004/2012 Equatorial Guinea Date: 2 March 2012

URGENT ACTION

human rights defender falsely arrested

A h uman rights defender and political activist from Equatorial Guinea has been arrested under false charges because of his human rights work and political activities . Wenceslao Mansogo Alo , a doctor speciali z ing in gynaecology and obstetrics, was arrested on 9 February and accused of mutilating the body of a female patient who had died during an operation he carried out . An autopsy confirmed that no mutilation t ook place and that the woman died of a heart attack.

The female patient died during an operation in Wenceslao Mansogo Alo’s private clinic on 1 February. Wenceslao Mansogo Alo was arrested without a warrant at Bata central police station where he went, voluntarily, to make a statement regarding the incident.

An autopsy was carried out by a forensic team at Bata Central Hospital, Litoral Province, Equatorial Guinea. The autopsy concluded that the body was intact and that the woman had died of a heart attack. A further examination of the body was carried out on 10 February by a medical team led by the Minister of Health (who is also the Vice-Prime Minister in charge of human rights). Wenceslao Mansogo Alo was present. Despite the conclusion reached by this team, confirming the previous findings of the autopsy, Wenceslao Mansogo Alo was not released.

Later on 10 February, the investigating judge - who legalized Wenceslao Mansogo Alo’s detention - ordered his imprisonment at Bata Public Prison pending further investigations, despite not charging him with a recognized criminal offence. The judge alleged that Wenceslao Mansogo Alo had committed a “professional error”, which is not a recognized criminal offence and is not in Equatorial Guinea’s penal code. Wenceslao Mansogo Alo’s lawyers have appealed against his detention on grounds that it is unfounded because no crime has been committed. The appeal has not been resolved. And it could take several weeks for a decision to be made.

Amnesty International considers Wenceslao Mansogo Alo to be a prisoner of conscience, whose arrest and detention is politically motivated and is based on his political activities and human rights work.

Please write immediately in Spanish or your own language:

Call for the immediate and unconditional release of Wenceslao Mansogo Alo as he is a prisoner of conscience, arrested and detained solely because of his work as a human rights defender and activist.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 16 APRIL 2012 TO:

President

General Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo

Presidente de la República

Gabinete del Presidente de la República, Malabo, Equatorial Guinea

Fax: +240 333 09 3313/ 3334

Salutation: Excelencia/Your Excellency

Attorney General

Sr Don Carlos Mangue

Fiscan General de la República

Fiscalía General de la República, Malabo, Equatorial Guinea

Fax: +240 333 09 1338

Salutation: Sr Fiscal/Dear Attorney General

Vice-Prime Minister and Minister of Health

Salomón Nguema Owono, Vice Primer Ministro y Minitro de Salud, Presidencia del Gobierno,

Malabo, Equatorial Guinea. Fax: +240 333 09 9544

Salutation: Excelencia/Your Excellency

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please insert local diplomatic addresses below:

Name Address 1 Address 2 Address 3 Fax Fax number Email Email address Salutation Salutation

Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.

URGENT ACTION

Human rights defender falsely arrested

ADditional Information

Wenceslao Mansogo Alo is a prominent member of the Convergence for Social Democracy (Convergencia para la Democracia Social, CPDS) political party. It is the only independent opposition political party left in the country. He is also in charge of the human rights unit within the party. He is a human rights activist who monitors and denounces human rights violations in the country. He is also a councillor in the Bata city council in charge of health and sanitation. He is highly respected as a doctor, as a councillor and politician and for his human rights work.

Name: Wenceslao Mansogo Alo

Gender m/f: Male

UA: 75/12 Index: AFR 24/004/2012 Issue Date: 2 March 2012