EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AFR 24/13/92
UA 373/92 Fear of Extrajudicial Execution/Torture 27 November 1992
EQUATORIAL GUINEA: Alfredo Bijuán
and 40 students
Amnesty International is concerned for the safety of Alfredo Bijuán following
reports from a variety of sources that the security forces are under instructions
to kill him.
Alfredo Bijuán is a member of the Union de Trabajadores y Estudiantes (UTE),
Workers and Students Union, in Bata, the capital Equatorial Guinea's mainland
province of Río Muni. Although not a leader of the UTE, he was prominent in
a student demonstration in Bata on 24 November 1992. He is reportedly in hiding.
In recent days the security forces, who are accustomed to acting with impunity,
are reported have carried out scores of arrests in various parts of the country.
They are especially, but not exclusively, targeting anyone suspected of
political dissent. At least one person has been arbitrarily killed by security
personnel in the past week.
The student demonstration in Bata was reportedly peaceful. It was held outside
the police headquarters but the precise purpose of the demonstration is not
yet known to Amnesty International. Forty students were arrested. All were
reported to have been tortured, some of them severely. They included one who
was eight-months pregnant. The female students were said to have been made
to dance naked in front of security officers. A male student became unconscious
as a result of the torture. The 40 students were reportedly released from police
custody in the evening of 26 November. Alfredo Bujián is still being sought
by the police.
Equatorial Guinea became a multi-party state 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
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