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UA 409/92 - Equatorial Guinea: torture and legal concern: over 100 people including: Celestino Bacale, Pedro Esono, Maximio Miko, Arsenio Moro, Angel Obama

, Index number: AFR 24/014/1992

Over 100 people, mainly teachers and students but also priests and members of opposition parties, were arrested during a demonstration calling for the release of Celestino Bacale, a teacher detained on 10 December 1992. Police forcibly broke up the demonstration, after some demonstrators caused a disturbance shouting at traders. Following protests from foreign governments, two priests and about ten members of opposition parties were released on 21 December. However, Celestino Bacale and the teachers named above remain detained. Celestino Bacale, a member of the Convergencia para la Democracia Social, is reportedly seriously ill after torture. He has been arrested on previous occasions. Other detainees have reportedly been tortured.

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AFR 24/14/92
Distr: UA/SC
UA 409/92 Torture and legal concern 22 December 1992
EQUATORIAL GUINEA: Over 100 people including
Celestino Bacale )
Pedro Esono )
Maximio Miko ) teachers
Arsenio Moro )
Angel Obama )
Amnesty International is concerned at the arrest of over 100 people during a reportedly
peaceful demonstration in Malabo, the capital, on 17 December 1992. The organization
is also concerned at reports that some of them may have been subjected to torture
during detention and fears that those who are still detained may be at risk of further
torture.
Over 100 people, mainly teachers and students, but also priests and members of
opposition parties, were arrested during a demonstration calling for the release
of Celestino Bacale, a teacher in the Rey Malabo Institute of Education, who was
detained on 10 December 1992. Police broke up the demonstration, using a great deal
of violence, after some demonstrators caused a disturbance by shouting at market
traders. Other people who had taken no part in the demonstration were among those
arrested.
Celestino Bacale is reported to be seriously ill as a result of torture. Many of
the demonstrators are also reported to have been badly beaten.
Celestino Bacale, who is a member of the Convergencia para la Democracia Social (CPDS),
Convergence for Social Democracy, had been arrested previously in April 1992 on account
of his non-violent political activities and was held for over a month before being
released. He was again briefly detained and beaten in November 1992. The reasons
for his arrest on 10 December are not clear but he appears again to have been detained
for political reasons.
On 21 December, following protests from foreign governments at the latest arrests,
two priests and about 10 members of opposition parties were released. However,
Celestino Bacale, other teachers, including the four named above, and many students
remain in custody where many are reportedly being subjected to torture - one of those
released told how he heard the cries of detainees being beaten as he was leaving
the prison. He and others had been subjected to repeated beatings, one of which
consisted of 50 blows on the sole of each foot.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Police similarly used considerable violence to break up a student demonstration in
Bata on 24 November 1992. Forty students were arrested and all were reported to have
been tortured, some of them severely.
Equatorial Guinea introduced a multi-party political system in January 1992 when
laws permitting political parties and freedom of assembly and demonstration were
passed. Previously the only party allowed was the ruling Partido Democrático de Guinea
Ecuatorial (PDGE), Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea. Under the law on freedom
of assembly, official permission is required for any gathering of over 10 people
and the organizers of the gatherings or demonstrations can be imprisoned for crimes
committed by other participants. Despite the passage of these laws, throughout 1992
scores of people have been briefly detained in Equatorial Guinea for taking part
in political meetings and in demonstrations.
Page 2 of UA 409/92
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/airmail letters either in
Spanish, English or in your own language:
- expressing concern that those named above and about 100 others were arrested on
17 December 1992, during a reportedly peaceful demonstration 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;
- also expressing concern at the reported arrest and torture of Celestino Bacale;
- expressing concern at reports that those arrested on 17 December have been subjected
to torture and that they are at risk of being subjected to further torture;
- urging that they immediately be allowed to receive visits from relatives and medical
personnel and calling also for their physical state and conditions of detention to
be examined by independent officials, such as judges or a special commission of
inquiry;
- 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 Exelencia
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 2 February 1993.

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