View Full Version : Equatorial Guinea arrests opposition member

4th November 2011, 01:31 PM
MALABO, Equatorial Guinea (AP) Authorities have arrested an opposition member who planned to campaign against this month's referendum on constitutional changes that would all but ensure Africa's longest-serving dictator is succeeded by his son.

Marcial Abaga Barril, the representative of the main opposition party on the national electoral body, was taken into custody on Nov. 1 allegedly in connection with a murder investigation, human rights activists say.

President Teodoro Obiang Nguema has ruled this tiny, oil-rich country for 32 years, and the proposed constitutional changes being voted upon in the Nov. 13 poll would create the new post of vice president.

His son Teodorin Obiang Mangue already has been named vice president of the ruling party, and was just appointed to head the party's campaign to promote the referendum.

"Marcial Abaga's politically motivated arrest is yet another example of President Obiang's offensive against opposition voices," said Daniel Bekele, Africa director at Human Rights Watch in the statement released late Thursday. "The allegation that Abaga is connected with a murder simply has no credibility."

Family members told Human Rights Watch that Abaga was detained outside his home at around 10 p.m. on Tuesday night. He was taken to a Malabo jail nicknamed "Guantanamo." More than 12 hours after he was detained, he was told he was being held into the alleged killing last month of a cook working for Obiang, people close to Abaga told the rights group.

Equatorial Guinea's opposition is small, consisting of only two political parties that are independent of the governing party. Considered one of the most repressive regimes in Africa, the Obiang government is accused of using brutal tactics including torture to silence opponents.

In the lead-up to the Nov. 13 poll, police have disrupted events held by Abaga's party, the Convergence for Social Democracy, or CPDS, according to EG Justice, a human rights group in Equatorial Guinea.

Last month, the United States Department of Justice revealed they are attempting to seize assets worth $70 million that the younger Obiang transferred to the United States and used to buy a Malibu mansion, a Gulfstream jet and $2 million worth of Michael Jackson memorabilia.


Associated Press Writer Rukmini Callimachi contributed to this report from Dakar, Senegal.

Pope Bitterz D'Alomo
4th November 2011, 02:59 PM
No worries,Nguema will be kicked out Ghaddafi style.