- The only legal opposition party in Equatorial Guinea has expressed grave concern over one of its leading members, who has been detained without charges since 8 November. The government refuses to give any information about the opposition politician.
Pío Miguel Obama Oyana is a member of the executive committee of the opposition Convergence for Social Democracy (CPDS) and a member of the city council of Malabo, the Equatoguinean capital. Since 8 November, however, the CPDS politician has been detained without any charges or accusations made against him.
The party now has expressed its concern over the fate of Mr Obama Oyana, saying he was arrested "in flagrant violation of the effective legality and the rights that the national legal order recognises." The CPDS had not been able to establish the official reasons for his arrest.
According to the party, however, police sources informally had reported that Mr Obama Oyana was detained in connection with a 7 November political gathering in the village of Basupú, outside Malabo. Here, there had been talks about "a foreign power that has bought the loyalty of leading members of the personal security forces of President [Teodoro Nguema] Obiang."
The day after this alleged conspiratory meeting, Mr Obama Oyana was interrogated by the police, where he was said to have denied being present at such a meeting. He had left Basupú, his place of residence, before the alleged meeting was supposed to have started.
A high level delegation of the CPDS has tried to establish whether these tales of their colleague's arrest were based on the truth. The delegation, including CPDS Secretary-General Plácido Micó and the party's Secretary for Foreign Affairs, this week managed to present their complaints to the Equatoguinean Ministry of the Interior.
At the Ministry, the CPDS delegation informed about "the grave situation" and recalled that any detained had the right to present his case before a judge within 72 hours, according to national laws. If there were no charges against him within that time limit, the law required him to be set free. According to the CPDM, the Ministry however provided no answers to this request.
Mr Micó this week also met with the Minister of National Security of Equatorial Guinea, Manuel Nguema Mba. According to the CPDS, the Minister however would not answer any questions related to Mr Obama Oyana. He showed more interest in mapping the whereabouts of the CPDS leader in mid-October.
Arbitrary detentions without charges occur very frequently in Equatorial Guinea, in particular in connection with political dissidents and assumed threats to the security of President Obiang. Equatorial Guinea is considered one of the worst dictatorships in the world.
Torture of political prisoners is common in the country's prisons and detention centres. Several detainees have died as consequence of torture and ill treatments. CPDS leader Micó himself has been imprisoned and tortured at several occasions.
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