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UA 285/92 - Equatorial Guinea: arrest of possible prisoners of conscience / torture: Tomas Buechecu, Julio Esono, Pedro Luis Moto (a minor), Felipe Ndong, Pablo Ndong, Gerardo Ngue, Guadalupe Ngue and sixteen others, including another woman

, Index number: AFR 24/010/1992

24 members of the Partido del Progreso de Guinea Ecuatorial (PPGE) were reportedly arrested in Malabo between 1 and 3 September 1992. Severo Moto Nsa, the leader of the party, was released after being questioned for several hours. AI is concerned that those still detained, including a minor and two women, may be prisoners of conscience, imprisoned on account of their membership of a non-violent political party. AI is also concerned by reports that they were beaten at the time of arrest and tortured or ill treated in custody. The people named above are reported to be held in Black Beach Prison, Malabo; the other 16 are reportedly detained at the Direccion Nacional de Seguridad. Some are said to have sustained serious injuries but not to have received medical treatment.

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AFR 24/10/92
Distr: UA/SC
UA 285/92 Arrest of possible prisoners of conscience/ 10 September 1992
Torture
EQUATORIAL GUINEA: Tomás Buechecu
Julio Esono
Pedro Luis Moto, a minor
Felipe Ndong
Pablo Ndong
Gerardo Ngue
Guadalupe Ngue, female
and 16 others, including another woman
Amnesty International has learned that 24 members of the Partido del Progreso
de Guinea Ecuatorial, (PPGE), Equatorial Guinea Progress Party were arrested
in Malabo, the capital, between 1 and 3 September 1992. One of those arrested,
Severo Moto Nsá, the leader of the party, was subsequently released after being
questioned for several hours. Amnesty International is concerned that they appear
to be prisoners of conscience arrested and imprisoned solely on account of their
membership of a non-violent political party. The organization is also concerned
by reports that they were beaten at the time of their arrest and were tortured
or ill-treated in custody.
According to reports, the seven people named above were arrested on 1 September
1992 and taken to Black Beach prison in Malabo while the other 16 were arrested
between 1 and 3 September and are being held at the Dirección Nacional de
Seguridad, Directorate of National Security. All those detained were reportedly
tortured either at the Directorate of National Security or at Black Beach prison.
Some are said to have sustained serious injuries but have not received medical
treatment. One of those arrested is a minor and is the youngest brother of the
leader of the party, Severo Moto Nsá.
Sources close to the Progress Party said that the arrests followed an incident
on 1 September when a young man, whom they believed to have links with the security
forces, entered the party's office saying he wanted to buy the party's newspaper.
The man suddenly began to scream and about 20 policemen arrived immediately and
then beat and arrested all those present except the young man. The police ransacked
the office and took away files containing the names and other details of PPGE
members.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Equatorial Guinea became a multi-party state in January 1992 when a law permitting
political parties was passed. Until then the only party allowed was the ruling
Partido Democrático de Guinea Ecuatorial (PDGE), Democratic Party of Equatorial
Guinea. The Progress Party began operating openly in Equatorial Guinea following
the introduction of the multi-party political system. It was founded by Equatorial
Guinean exiles in Spain and is currently seeking official recognition in
Equatorial Guinea. Owing to the stringent requirements for official recognition,
which include paying a fee equivalent to approximately US$ 165,000, two thousand
times the average yearly salary, only four parties have so far been able to obtain
recognition. Despite the introduction of a multi-party political system,
throughout 1992 scores of people have been briefly detained in Equatorial Guinea
for supporting opposition parties. The Progress Party previously attempted to
obtain recognition in 1988, with the result that about 40 members of the party
were arrested, nine of whom were unfairly tried and convicted - two received
death sentences, which were subsequently commuted, and others were given prison
terms. They were all released by January 1992.
page 2 of UA 285/92...
Equatorial Guinea became party to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights
in 1986 and to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in 1987.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes and airmail letters either
in Spanish or in your own language:
- expressing concern that those named above (including a minor) and the 16 others
were arrested between 1 and 3 September 1992, apparently for their links with
a political party, and thus for exercising their right to freedom of association
guaranteed by Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political
Rights and Article 13 (k) of Equatorial Guinea's new Constitution;
- expressing concern at reports that following their arrest they were subjected
to torture and sustained injuries for which they have not received medical
treatment, and that they are at risk of being subjected to further torture;
- urging that they be immediately allowed to receive visits from relatives and
medical personnel;
- urging that if, as it appears, they are detained for their peaceful political
activities, they be released immediately and unconditionally.
APPEALS TO
1. President
Su Excelencia
General de Brigada Teodoro Obiang Nguema
Presidente de la República
Gabinete del Presidente de la República
Malabo, República de Guinea Ecuatorial
Telegrams: Presidente Obiang Nguema, Malabo, República de Guinea Ecuatorial
Salutation: Su Excelencia/Your Excellency
2. Minister of Justice and Religion
Su Excelencia
Mariano Nsué Nguema
Ministro de Justicia y Culto
Ministerio de Justicia y Culto
Malabo, República de Guinea Ecuatorial
Telegrams: Ministro de Justicia Nsué Nguema, Malabo, República de Guinea
Ecuatorial
Telexes: 5405 GBNOM 5405 EG
Salutation: Su Excelencia/Your Excellency
3. Minister of Foreign Affairs
Su Excelencia
Benjamín Mba Ekua Mikó
Ministro de Asuntos Exteriores
Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores
Malabo, República de Guinea Ecuatorial
Telegrams: Ministro de Asuntos Exteriores Mba Ekua, Malabo, República de Guinea
Ecuatorial
Telexes: 5405 GBNOM 5405 EG
Salutation: Su Excelencia/Your Excellency
COPIES OF YOUR APPEALS TO: diplomatic representatives of Equatorial Guinea
accredited to your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat, or
your section office, if sending appeals after 22 October 1992.

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