La teoría de mayorías étnicas Y SUS PACTOS “SIN SEPARACIÓN, SIN DISCRIMINACIÓN, SIN AGRESIÓN, conservar la Unidad y la Independencia Nacional” hicieron Guinea Ecuatorial.
Francisco Macias Nguema, rompió los pactos de Unidad e Independencia Nacional. “ Sin pactos de independencia, no hay UNIDAD NACIONAL, no existe Guinea Ecuatorial.”
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La República deGuinea Ecuatorial como Estado, aparece como resultado de una
forzada unión para no sentar un precedente que pudiera ser utilizado por los nacionalistas
Catalanes y vascos.
Los territorios españoles del Golfo de
Guinea, compuestos por 4 territorios distantes, dispares y habitado por 5
distintos pueblos, después de sendas negociaciones, acuerdos y pactos en 1967-68,
para la conformación del Estado como país único nacido de 4 distintos
países, Ikume-Mbongo (País Ndowé), país Fang, país Bubi y país Anobonés, la
unidad se asentó sobre 5 grandes pilares:
1.-Un sistema que
respetase la autonomía de las provincias entonces:
2.- Absoluta prohibición
de separación étnica,
3.- Absoluta prohibición
de discriminación de cualquier tipo,
4.- Una democracia
participativa en la que colaborarían todos los sectores de la
sociedad de la nación. Todo recogido en el Acta de independencia y plasmado en
la constitución y en la letra del Himno Nacional, y
5.- Un riguroso respeto
a la Declaración Universal de los Derechos Humanos.
la firma de dichos acuerdos y bajo dichas condiciones, los Ndowéaportamos nuestro territorio Ikume-Mbongo (País Ndowé).
El acto oficial de traspaso de poder,
la iza por primera vez de la bandera de Guinea Ecuatorial, estaba
minuciosamente programado, ensayado, para que todo fuera perfecto. La iza de la
bandera debía representar dos etapas de la lucha por la Independencia,
realizado por D. Raimundo Evita, quien debía caminar unos pocos
metros con la bandera hasta el mástil, donde lo esperaba un hombre joven, quien
debía izarla en el mástil. Era muy importante la lentitud del anciano en
recorrer los metros simbolizando de ese modo los largos años de lucha por
la independencia. Sin embargo, cuando el anciano que entonces tendría 118 años comenzó
lenta su marcha ante el público que abarrotaba el acto, apenas hubo recorrido 3
metros cuando un exaltadísimo joven fang Buenaventura Ochaga saltó las barreras
preparadas para limitar al público, corrió hasta el anciano, le arrebató con mucha
violencia y brutalidad la bandera, casi lo tumbó al suelo y corrió con ella
hasta el Mástil, lo que arrancó la ovación de los fang que ahí estaban, marcando
de ese modo el desorden que precedió en el país.
La misma noche de aquel día de la
proclamación de la Independencia, el 12 de octubre de 1968, muchas personas
fang armaron mucha bulla y bronca por toda la ciudad de Bata. Yo era un crio y
los gritos escandalosos e intimidatorios de los fang eran los mismos: ¡ESTE
PAÍS ES NUESTRO!…, ¡ESTE PAÍS ES NUESTRO!Una y otra vez gritaban como energúmenos exacerbados. En varios bares de
la ciudad se negaron a pagar por lo que habían consumido y recuerdo a mi bis-
abuelo D. Raimundo Evita desmoralizado sentado en el Salón de su casa en
Udubwandjolo, juntos a muchos políticos entre ellos Atanasio Ndongo Miyone,
Rafael Evita Enoy, Saturnino Ibongo, Edmundo Bosio Dioco, y otros tantos,
cabizbajolamentaba muy triste una y
otra vez: “NOS HEMOS EQUIVOCADO”… “NOS HEMOS EQUIVOCADO.
los hechos, aquella preconización del viejo Evita, se ha cumplido totalmente.
Pues España entregó el poder a un hombre que ni partido político tenía, además,
era un conocido esquizofrénico que recibía tratamiento en Madrid. Solocinco meses después de la independencia, con
objeto de tener vía libre para explayar su locura, procedió asesinando a
aquellos dos fang que podían estorbarle: D. Atanasio Ndongo Miyone y D.
Bonifacio Ondo Edu. Se fue al interior de Rio Muni, se arropó de lo más bruto y
salvaje de su pueblo, los armó hasta los dientes y les dirigió contra los
padres de la independencia, a fin de asesinarlos y hacer que el sueñode la independencia, todo el trabajo
realizado y todo lo programado para que la nueva Nación fuera la Suiza de
Africa, fuera absolutamente borradoconvirtiendo el país en un infierno.
Efectivamente, desde Marzo de 1969 asesinados
los padres de la Independencia y a todos los políticos Ndowé, el pueblo Ndowé
es discriminado y excluido en la gobernabilidad incluso de su propio territorio
Ikume-Mbongo porque, se despidió a todos los Ndowé de sus puestos de trabajos
para que los ocupasen personas fang y, se implantó un “mwadjangnismo” (síndrome
del hermano fang) para asentar un imperio neocolonial que sojuzgara a los Ndowé
en su propia tierra. Seguido, se puso en
marcha el diabólico plan de exterminio contra dicho pueblo desarrollado en 10
fases, cuya última etapa “LIMPIEZA ETNICA”se puso en marcha el 2012 con la
Resolución 21 del Ayuntamiento de la ciudad Ndowéde
Bata, dirigida por un Fang, el desaparecido
D. Constantino Ekong Nsue, mediante lacual, se obliga a los Ndowéexcluidos
laboral, política y económicamente durante 45 años de Independencia, a adaptar
sus viviendas a 6 plantas para conservar sus terrenos ancestrales o, perderlo
todo en beneficio de los Fang, únicos dueños absolutos de los recursos del
subsuelo ancestral del Pueblo Ndowé Ikume-Mbongo, por lo tanto, capaces de
cumplimentar con los criminales requisitos del Ayuntamiento de Bata; un
elemental y satánico pretexto para despojar a los Ndowé de sus tierras
ancestrales, escudados tras criminales instituciones del Estado en manos de los
Rafael Evita Ika
Presidente de Êtômbâ â Ndôwé- Partido
del Pueblo Ndowé
La tragedia de un DICTADOR azotado por todos los lados
SOBRE DERECHOS HUMANOS EN GUINEA ECUATORIAL 2013 por Departamento de Estado,
Estados Unidos de América
Equatorial Guinea is nominally a multi-party
constitutional republic. Since a military coup in 1979, President Teodoro
Obiang Nguema Mbasogo has dominated all branches of government in collaboration
with his clan and political party, the Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea
(PDGE). On May 26, the PDGE won a claimed 98.7 percent of seats in the
bicameral legislature and 98.1 percent of city council seats throughout the
country. The lopsided results and weak independent monitoring of electoral
processes raised suspicions of systematic vote fraud. Foreign diplomatic
observers noted numerous irregularities and the presence of military personnel
at all voting stations. There were instances in which elements of the security
forces acted independently of civilian control. Security forces committed human
The most significant human rights abuses in the
country were disregard for the rule of law and due process, including police
use of torture and excessive force; denial of freedom of speech, press, assembly,
and association; and widespread official corruption.
Other human rights abuses included: inability of
citizens to change their government; arbitrary and unlawful killings; abuse of
detainees and prisoners; and poor conditions in prisons and detention
facilities. Arbitrary arrest and detention, incommunicado detention, harassment
and deportation of foreign residents without due process, and lack of judicial
independence were problems. The government restricted the right to privacy,
freedom of movement, and political party activity. Restrictions on domestic and
international nongovernmental organization (NGO) activity, violence and
discrimination against women and children, and trafficking in persons occurred.
Societal discrimination against persons with disabilities; ethnic minorities
and immigrants; the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community;
and persons with HIV/AIDS was a problem. Labor rights were restricted.
The government did not take steps to prosecute or
punish officials who committed abuses, whether in the security forces or
elsewhere in the government, and impunity was a serious problem.
Section 1. Respect for the Integrity of the Person,
Including Freedom from:
a. Arbitrary or Unlawful Deprivation of Life
There were several reports that the government or its
agents committed arbitrary or unlawful killings. There is no government body
that examines all security force killings to evaluate whether they occurred in
the line of duty or were otherwise justifiable. Investigations occurred on an
ad hoc and inconsistent basis.
On August 21, police shot and killed a taxi driver
after he did not pull over immediately when flagged down at a checkpoint. The
driver had already stopped when he was shot. The police officer was awaiting
trial at year’s end.
Impunity continued to be a problem.
No action was taken to end impunity for arbitrary
killings from 2012, including those of Nigerian citizen Prince Mathew Adekanmi
and Malian citizens Oumar Kone and Alit Togo.
There were no reports of politically motivated
abductions or kidnappings.
c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
The law prohibits such practices, but opposition
leaders and international NGOs continued to criticize the government’s
systematic use of torture. Police officers and military personnel used
excessive force during interrogations, sometimes to facilitate their own
robbery and extortion.
For example, in May security officials allegedly beat Enrique Nsolo Nzo to
obtain information about his involvement in planning a public demonstration on
May 15. Nsolo Nzo appeared disoriented during his interrogation, which was
broadcast on local television. He was released the following day.
Foreigners, primarily irregular immigrants from other African countries, were
killed, harassed, intimidated, and arbitrarily arrested and detained (see
sections 1.d. and 2.d.).
Prison and Detention Center Conditions
Conditions in the country’s three prisons, 12
detention centers, and numerous police station jails were harsh and life
Physical Conditions: Although there were no reliable
statistics, government officials and opposition party members estimated there
were approximately 1,000 prisoners and detainees at any given time. A small percentage
of these were women. There was no information on the number of juvenile
Authorities generally did not hold female prisoners
separately and there were reports male prisoners raped and abused them.
Juveniles also were not held separately and were vulnerable to rape and sexual
abuse. Authorities held pretrial detainees together with convicted prisoners.
There were no statistics on the prevalence of deaths in prisons or detention
Prison cells were overcrowded, dirty, and lacked mattresses.
Prisoners and detainees rarely had access to exercise. Diseases, including
malaria and HIV/AIDS, were serious problems. The government provided sporadic
medical care to a limited number of prisoners and detainees. The government
provided basic meals in some penitentiary institutions, but the food was
generally insufficient and of poor quality. Other institutions provided no
food. Families of prisoners and detainees or fellow prisoners and detainees
often had to provide food.
Several civilian jails were located within military
bases and headed by civilian administrators, although military personnel served
as guards. Conditions were similar to those in prisons.
Provisions for sanitation, ventilation, lighting, and access to potable water
Administration: Neither the judicial system nor police
had an effective system to register cases or track prisoners. The law requires
prison authorities to provide the Ministry of Justice with a monthly printout
of prison inmate numbers, including releases with full names, sentences
completed, and release dates. This did not occur.
Authorities often granted provisional liberty to
nonviolent juvenile offenders, who were monitored. Courts did not use
alternatives to sentencing.
A local judge served as ombudsman to hear complaints
about sentencing, but authorities generally did not permit prisoners and
detainees to submit complaints to judicial authorities or to request
investigation. In most cases prisoners had reasonable access to visitors and
were permitted religious observance.
Independent Monitoring: The International Committee of
the Red Cross (ICRC) visited several detention centers during the year. The
government required extensive advance notice of all visits.
d. Arbitrary Arrest or Detention
The law prohibits arbitrary arrest and detention, but
security forces arrested and detained persons arbitrarily and without due legal
process. Authorities held detainees incommunicado, denied them access to
lawyers, and jailed them for long periods without charge.
Role of the Police and Security Apparatus
The police generally are responsible for law
enforcement and maintenance of order in the cities, while gendarmes are
responsible for security outside the cities and for special events. Both
entities report to the Minister of National Security. Military personnel, who
report to the Minister of Defense, also fulfilled police functions in border
areas, sensitive sites, and high-traffic areas. In addition there were police
elements within the Ministries of Interior (border and traffic police), Finance
(customs police), and Justice (investigative/prosecuting police). Presidential
security officials also exercised police functions at and in the vicinity of
Police and gendarmes were ineffective and corrupt, and impunity continued to be
a problem. Security forces extorted money from citizens and immigrants at
police checkpoints. The government did not maintain effective internal or
external mechanisms to investigate security force abuses, although the Ministry
of National Security reported it was required to appear before the legislature
to provide responses about abuses committed by individual police officers and
that police officers were dismissed as a result. The government did not provide
statistics on police dismissals.
The government continued to invest in the professionalization of its security
forces. Several foreign contractors trained police officers and military
officials on human rights, prevention of trafficking in persons, rule of law,
appropriate use of force, and ethics.
Arrest Procedures and Treatment of Detainees
Although the constitution requires arrest warrants,
except in cases in which a suspect is caught committing a crime, security force
members frequently arrested persons without a warrant. A detainee has the right
to a judicial determination of the legality of the detention within 72 hours of
arrest, excluding weekends and holidays, but detentions were often longer,
sometimes several months. NGOs indicated that the majority of detainees had not
been charged. They noted the process of habeas corpus was not an effective
remedy, as judges typically failed to issue a writ of habeas corpus in the
legal timeframe of 36 hours.
Although the law provides for detainees to be informed
promptly of the charges against them, authorities did not respect this right.
Some foreign detainees complained they were detained and subsequently deported
without being told the charges against them. A bail system existed, and public
defenders supplied by the bar association were available upon request, but most
detainees were unaware of either, and neither system operated effectively.
Detainees, particularly political detainees, occasionally were denied access to
The law provides for family visits and prohibits
incommunicado detention, but these provisions were not always respected and
sometimes depended on the discretion of the local police chief.
Arbitrary Arrest: During the year the government
arbitrarily arrested irregular immigrants, businessmen, and others.
Police raids continued on immigrant communities.
Reliable sources reported many legal as well as irregular immigrants were
abused, extorted, or detained during such raids. Police occasionally used
excessive force to detain and deport immigrants, and many foreign embassies in
the country criticized the government during the year for its harassment,
abuse, extortion, and detention of foreign nationals. Authorities held in
police cells for lengthy periods detained irregular immigrants awaiting
deportation. Deportees were generally required to pay for their transportation,
although the government occasionally provided flight service on the national
airline or ferry, which serve only a few neighboring countries. Some deportees
were taken to a country other than that of their citizenship. Many detainees
complained about the bribes required for release from detention.
There were several reports that businesspersons were
arbitrarily detained in connection with business disputes.
Pretrial Detention: Lengthy pretrial detention
remained a problem, and many of those incarcerated were pretrial detainees; the
exact number was unavailable. Although the government required prison
authorities to provide monthly lists of prisoners and detainees to the Ministry
of Justice, this did not occur. Inefficient judicial procedures, corruption,
lack of monitoring, and inadequate staffing contributed to the problem.
Amnesty: Unlike in previous years, the government did
not pardon any prisoners.
e. Denial of Fair Public Trial
The constitution and law provide for an independent
judiciary, but the government did not respect this provision, and the judiciary
was not independent, according to UN officials and local and international
human rights advocates. Judges served at the pleasure of the president and were
appointed, transferred, and dismissed for political as well as competency
reasons. Judicial corruption was widely reported, and cases were sometimes
decided on political grounds. Authorities did not always respect court orders.
The military justice system, based entirely on the
system in effect in Spain during General Franco’s rule, did not provide
defendants with the same rights as the civil criminal court system. The code of
military justice states that persons who disobey a military authority, or are
alleged to have committed an offense considered to be a “crime against the
state,” should be judged by a military tribunal, with limited due process and
procedural safeguards, regardless of whether the defendant is civilian or
military. A defendant may be tried without being present, and the defense may
not have a right to cross-examine an accuser. Such proceedings are not public,
and defendants do not have a right of appeal to a higher court. According to
the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, “judges and defenders in military
courts were not lawyers or jurists, but military officers with no legal
In rural areas tribal elders adjudicated civil claims
and minor criminal matters in traditional courts. These adjudications were
conducted according to tradition and did not afford the same rights and
privileges as the formal system. Those dissatisfied with traditional judgments
could appeal to the civil court system.
The law provides for the presumption of innocence, but
the government suspended due process and the presumption of innocence for
several detainees during the year. Defendants have the right to be informed
promptly of charges, to have adequate time and facilities to prepare a defense,
and not to be compelled to testify or confess guilt. The courts did not respect
these rights. It was unclear whether defendants have the right to free
interpretation if necessary. Defendants have the right to a public trial
without undue delay, and most trials for ordinary crimes were public, but
juries were seldom used.
Defendants have the right to be present at their
trials but rarely were able to consult promptly with attorneys unless they
could afford private counsel. An accused person who cannot afford a lawyer is
entitled to ask the government to provide one, but only if the accused is
summoned to appear in court. Defendants were not routinely advised of this
right. The bar association was available to defend indigent defendants, but
there remained a shortage of lawyers and no effective system of court-appointed
The law provides for defendants to confront and question witnesses and present
their own witnesses and evidence. Courts seldom enforced this right. Defendants
do not have the ability to access government-held evidence. By law the accused
has the right to appeal, but legal appeals were not common due to lack of
adequate legal representation and ignorance of constitutional rights. The law
extends these rights equally to all citizens, but the law was not respected.
Political Prisoners and Detainees
There were several political prisoners, although no
reliable estimates were available. Political prisoners did not receive the
protections accorded them under the law, although they were not singled out for
poor treatment. The government allowed international organizations to visit
facilities where political prisoners were held.
In December government forces reportedly illegally
detained former military officer and opposition member Cipriano Nguema Mba in
Nigeria. Nguema Mba, a citizen of Equatorial Guinea who was granted political
asylum in Belgium, was making a personal trip to Nigeria. Nguema Mba was
reportedly returned to Equatorial Guinea onboard one of President Obiang’s
airplanes. The government denied detaining or holding Nguema Mba. This was the
second time Nguema Mba was reportedly detained abroad and returned to detention
in Equatorial Guinea, having previously been detained in 2008 and escaping in
Agustin Esono Nsogo was detained in October 2012 for
his alleged involvement in financing a suspected coup plot and remained in
detention without formal charges at year’s end.
Civil Judicial Procedures and Remedies
Courts ruled on civil cases brought before them, some
of which involved human rights complaints. Plaintiffs could not appeal
decisions to an international regional court. Civil matters also may be settled
out of court, and in some cases tribal elders adjudicated local disputes.
The government sometimes failed for political reasons to comply with domestic
court decisions pertaining to human rights, including political rights. For
example, despite a March 2012 court ruling that Daniel Dario Ayecaba was the
rightful president of the opposition Popular Union (UP) party, the government
continued to recognize a breakaway faction as the legitimate UP party,
including in the May elections, when that faction ran in coalition with the
f. Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home,
The constitution and law prohibit such actions, but
the government often did not respect these prohibitions. Search warrants are
required unless the crime is in progress or for reasons of national security.
Security forces nevertheless entered homes without authorization and arrested
alleged criminals, foreign nationals, and others, often without required
judicial orders, and confiscated their property with impunity.
Government informers reportedly monitored opposition
members, NGOs, and journalists, including through internet and telephone
surveillance. The government blocked employment of known members of opposition
Individuals may hold title to land, but the state has
full power of eminent domain, which it exercised in the interests of
Family members, including children, were sometimes
temporarily detained for alleged offenses committed by other individuals.
For example, in May national security officials
detained Jeronimo Ndong Mesi Mibuy and Luis Nzo Ondo in connection with a
planned public demonstration on May 15, in advance of the May 26 elections.
Mesi Mibuy was temporarily released on May 19, but national security officials
decided to return him to prison. When they could not find him, officials
incarcerated his wife and children until Mesi Mibuy turned himself in.
Authorities released both prisoners the day after the elections.
Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties, Including:
a. Freedom of Speech and Press
Although the constitution and law provide for freedom
of speech and press, the law grants authorities extensive powers to restrict
media activities, and the government limited these rights. The country’s media
remained weak and under government influence or control. The few private media
outlets that existed were generally owned by persons close to the president.
Journalists, who were subject to surveillance and threats by the government,
Freedom of Speech: Individuals generally could not
criticize the president, his family, other high-ranking officials, or the
security forces without fear of reprisal. The government reportedly attempted
to impede criticism by continuing to monitor the activities of the political
opposition, journalists, and others.
Attorney Ponciano Mbomio Nvo continued to be suspended
from legal practice for criticizing the government in closing arguments in a
Press Freedoms: The country had one marginally independent newspaper that
appeared at infrequent intervals during the year. Print media outlets were
extremely limited. Starting a new periodical or newspaper was a complicated
process governed by an ambiguous law and impeded by government bureaucracy. In
addition, accreditation was cumbersome for both local and foreign journalists,
who must register with the Ministry of Information. Certain international
newspapers or news magazines could be found occasionally in limited quantities
in grocery stores and hotels in major cities, but they sold out quickly and
were generally not available in rural areas.
International news agencies did not have regular local
correspondents or stringers present in the country. Government agents
reportedly followed and observed stringers for foreign media, who generally
could not operate freely. The government severely restricted the movements and
ability to operate freely of the few foreign journalists who visited. The
government owned the only national radio and television broadcast system,
RTVGE. The president’s eldest son, Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, owned the only
private broadcast media. Satellite broadcasts were widely available, including
the French language Africa24 television channel that occasionally carried
criticism of the government.
Foreign channels, including Radio France International
and the BBC, were broadcast uncensored throughout the country.
Violence and Harassment: There were no reports that
security forces detained journalists, although independent journalists reported
intimidation and harassment.
For example, police and election officials openly
harassed journalists who attempted to report on the May municipal and
legislative elections. Some journalists had their cameras and recording
equipment confiscated by members of the government while attempting to cover
the elections. Journalists who reported that the government was responsible for
blocking opposition websites and social media were threatened with violence.
The government took no steps to preserve the safety and independence of the
media or to prosecute individuals who harassed journalists.
Censorship or Content Restrictions: The law gives the
government considerable authority to restrict publication through official
prepublication censorship. The law also establishes criminal, civil, and
administrative penalties for violation of its provisions, in particular
violations of the 19 publishing principles in article 2 of the Law on the
Press, Publishing, and Audiovisual Media. The country’s only independent
newspaper practiced self-censorship and did not openly criticize the government
or the president.
The only publishing facility available to newspapers
was located at the Ministry of Information, which allowed the ministry to
censor printed materials.
During the year the host of a radio program on
national radio lost his job and had his program cancelled after he used a story
considered to be critical of a senior government official.
Libel Laws/National Security: Libel is a criminal
offense, but there were no instances of the government using such laws to
suppress criticism during the year.
The government appeared to block access to websites
maintained by the domestic political opposition and exiled groups and to social
media in the months leading up to the May elections. Users attempting to access
these sites were redirected to the government’s official press website. The
government denied responsibility for the blockage. The internet replaced
broadcast media as the primary way opposition views were expressed and
disseminated. The most overt criticism of the government came from the
country’s community in exile. According to International Telecommunications
Union statistics, 14 percent of individuals used the internet in 2012.
Academic Freedom and Cultural Events
The government restricted academic freedom and
cultural events. According to the opposition party Convergence for Social
Democracy (CPDS), at least three professionals lost their teaching positions
due to their political affiliation or critical statements reported to
government officials by students in their classes. Additionally, on May 15,
Enrique Nsolo Nzo was suspended from his position at the National University of
Equatorial Guinea for his involvement in a planned public demonstration (see
section 1.c.). Most professors reportedly practiced self-censorship.
Members of opposition political parties, faculty
members, and students complained of government interference in the hiring of
teachers, the continued employment of unqualified teachers, and pressuring
teachers to give passing grades to failing students with political connections.
Teachers were employed who had political connections but no experience or
accreditation. Reportedly, these teachers seldom appeared at the classes they
were assigned to teach.
Cultural events required coordination with the
Ministry of Information, the Department of Culture and Tourism, or both, which
was a disincentive to prospective organizers.
b. Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association
Freedom of Assembly
The constitution and law provide for the right of
assembly, but the government restricted this right. Although the government
formally abolished permit requirements for political party meetings within
party buildings, it requires prior permission for public events such as
meetings or marches and frequently denied these permit requests.
For example, the government denied a request from a
group of opposition activists to hold a public demonstration on May 15 in
Malabo. In the week before May 15, national security officials detained and
held incommunicado Salvador Ebang Ela, Clara Nsegue Eyi, and Natalia Angue
Edjodjomo Ela in connection with the demonstration. Authorities released
Edjodjomo Ela shortly after May 15, Ebang Ela the day after the May 26
elections, and Nsegue Eyi in October.
On the morning of May 15, armed military personnel
barricaded the area where the demonstration was to have been held. A government
helicopter hovered over the area, and plainclothes police officers were
reportedly stationed outside of opposition members’ houses. The demonstration
was not held.
The government also denied a CPDS party request to
hold a demonstration on June 25 to protest election results. When the CPDS
attempted to hold the demonstration without authorization, police converged
outside party headquarters, forcing members to seek refuge inside the building.
Some CPDS members were briefly detained on the evening of June 25.
Freedom of Association
The constitution and law provide for freedom of
association, but the government significantly restricted this right. All
political parties, labor unions, and other associations must register with the
government, but the registration process was costly, burdensome, opaque, and
slow. At year’s end only one labor organization had been registered (see
section 7.a.). The law prohibits the formation of political parties along
ethnic lines, and several political parties remained banned, including the
Progress Party of Equatorial Guinea. During the year the Democratic Party for
Social Justice requested registration as a political party, but the government
denied the request.
d. Freedom of Movement, Internally Displaced Persons, Protection of Refugees,
and Stateless Persons
Although the law provides for freedom of internal movement
and repatriation, the government occasionally restricted these rights.
In-country Movement: Police at roadblocks routinely
checked passing travelers and engaged in petty extortion. Frequent roundups of
irregular immigrants and others also occurred at roadblocks. The government
claimed roadblocks impeded illegal immigration, mercenary activities, and
attempted coups. In the days prior to a planned public demonstration on June
26, airport officials blocked CPDS members from traveling from the mainland
city of Bata to Malabo on Bioko Island.
Exile: The law prohibits forced internal or external
exile. Some members of banned political parties returned from exile during the
year and immediately joined the ruling PDGE party, but many remained in
Emigration and Repatriation: On September 22,
immigration officials denied entry into the country for Weja Chicampo, leader
of the Movement for the Self-Determination of Bioko Island. He had attempted to
return from exile in Spain.
Protection of Refugees
Access to Asylum: The law provides for the granting of
asylum or refugee status, but the government has not established a system for
providing protection to refugees.
Section 3. Respect for Political Rights: The Right of
Citizens to Change Their Government
The constitution and law provide citizens the right to
change their government peacefully, although this right was extremely limited,
partly due to the dominance of the PDGE party.
Elections and Political Participation
Recent Elections: The government held legislative and
municipal elections on May 26. The PDGE won 98.7 percent of seats in the house
of deputies and the newly created senate. The CPDS won a single seat in each
chamber. The PDGE also won 98.1 percent of city council seats throughout the
country. The lopsided results and weak independent monitoring of the electoral
process raised suspicions of systematic fraud. The CPDS disputed the results
publicly, but the government did not address their objections.
Many of the same irregularities were observed during
the 2009 presidential election. The few international election observers
present were able to cover only a small percentage of the polling stations. The
government refused election assistance offered by the European Union. Election
observers noted the following irregularities at some polling stations: failure
to respect the secrecy of the vote, the absence of ballots printed to enable
voting for an opposition party, unsealed ballot boxes, incomplete voting
results summaries, lack of posting of voting results as required by law, and
ruling party propaganda around and in the stations. Soldiers were deployed to
all polling stations, and there were reports that they intimidated voters.
Opposition parties questioned the legitimacy of the
voter registration process, and voter registries were not made public in
advance of the election. No independent and impartial body existed to oversee
the electoral process or consider election-related complaints. The National
Electoral Commission had the responsibility to ensure the fairness of elections
and handle postelection grievances, but the commission was comprised mostly of
members of the ruling party, including the minister of interior, who headed the
commission. The government restricted opposition parties’ access to the media
and delayed the provision of constitutionally mandated campaign funding during
Voters took three party-slate ballots into the voting
booth and chose only one to deposit in the voting urn outside. The two ballots
that were not used were discarded on the voting booth floor. This system
required each voter to cast all of her or his votes in the municipal and
legislative races for candidates of a single party. As a result, there was
increased pressure on voters to demonstrate loyalty to the ruling party by
voting for PDGE candidates exclusively. Furthermore, this system of voting made
it impossible to track all of the ballots printed in order to safeguard against
Political Parties: The PDGE ruled through a complex
network of family, clan, and ethnic relationships. Public employees were
pressured to join the PDGE. The party’s near monopoly on power, funding, and
access to national media hampered the country’s three primary opposition
parties – the CPDS, the UP, and the Popular Action for Equatorial Guinea. The
government subjected opposition members to arbitrary arrest and harassment and
continued to report discrimination in hiring, job retention, and obtaining
scholarships and business licenses. Opposition parties reported that some of
their members were fired from their private sector positions following the May
elections for their political activism. Opposition members reported that
government pressure on foreign companies precluded them from obtaining jobs
with foreign companies. Businesses that employed citizens with ties to
families, individuals, parties, or groups that were out of favor with the
government reportedly were forced to dismiss those employees or face reprisals.
Registered opposition parties faced restrictions on
freedom of speech, association, and assembly (see sections 2.a. and 2.b.). Some
political parties that existed before the 1992 law establishing procedures to
register political parties remained banned, allegedly for “supporting
The president exercised strong powers as head of state, commander of the armed
forces, head of the judiciary, and founder and head of the ruling party. In
general the government restricted leadership positions in government to select
members of the PDGE or from a coalition of loyal opposition parties.
In 2011 the government convoked and won a referendum
to alter the constitution significantly. The amended constitution concentrates
power in the hands of the president and allows President Obiang, who has been
in power for 34 years, to serve another seven years. (One of the amendments
cancels the presidential age limit of 75 and institutes presidential term
limits of two consecutive seven-year mandates, which become effective in the
2016 presidential election, when Obiang turns 74.) Other amendments establish a
senate and anticorruption tribunal court, some of whose members are appointed
by the president, and a human rights ombudsman, also appointed by the
president. The amendments also create the post of vice president. Following the
referendum, President Obiang created a second vice presidential position in
charge of defense and national security, a position not provided for in the
constitution. In a move widely viewed as a further attempt to consolidate
power, Obiang appointed his eldest son, Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, to the
post. Obiang Mangue continued in this office after a cabinet reshuffle occurred
following the legislative elections.
Participation of Women and Minorities: Women
constituted 18 percent of the 100-member house of deputies and 13 percent of
the 75-member senate, including its president. There were three women in the
24-member cabinet, three of the 19 vice ministers were women, and there was one
woman among the 19 ministers delegate. The government did not overtly limit
participation of minorities in politics. Nevertheless, the predominant Fang
ethnic group, estimated to constitute 85 percent of the population, continued
to exercise dominant political and economic power.
Section 4. Corruption and Lack of Transparency in
While laws provide severe criminal penalties for
official corruption, the government did not implement these laws effectively,
and officials engaged in corrupt practices with impunity. Corruption at all
levels of government was a severe problem. Numerous foreign investigations
continued into high-level corruption tied to the country’s natural resource
Corruption: The Presidency and Prime Minister’s Office are the lead agencies
for anticorruption efforts. Nevertheless, the president and members of his
inner circle continued to amass personal fortunes from the revenues associated
with oil exports.
In June 2012 a foreign government amended its October
2011 legal filing seeking to seize assets of Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, the
president’s eldest son and second vice president. The amended filing alleges
the president’s son extorted funds from timber and construction companies
through fictitious companies, fraudulently inflated public construction
contracts by as much as 500 percent, and funneled public money into a private
bank account under his control while he served as the minister of agriculture
and forestry. The amended filing seeks to recover $38.5 million in real and
personal property Nguema Obiang Mangue allegedly obtained through such corrupt
practices. A separate case for bank fraud was also pending.
During the year another foreign government auctioned
11 luxury vehicles belonging to Nguema Obiang Mangue for approximately $4
million as a result of a 2010 investigation into suspected concealment and
laundering of embezzled public funds abroad.
Whistleblower Protection: There is no law that
provides protection to public and private employees for making internal
disclosures or lawful public disclosures of evidence of illegality. Many public
employees reported fear of retribution for such disclosures.
Financial Disclosure: The law requires officials to
declare their assets to the National Commission on Public Ethics, although no
declarations were made public. Income and assets of spouses and minor children
must be reported, but there are no penalties for noncompliance. The reports are
confidential to the commission, but observers considered it unlikely the law
was enforced. The law precludes government officials from conducting business,
but most ministers continued to moonlight and conduct businesses they conflated
with their government responsibilities.
Public Access to Information: The law does not provide
for public access to government information, and citizens and noncitizens,
including those employed by foreign media, generally were unable to access
government information. A lack of organized recordkeeping, archiving, and
public libraries also limited access to government information.
Section 5. Governmental Attitude Regarding International and Nongovernmental
Investigation of Alleged Violations of Human Rights
The law restricts NGO activity, and the few domestic
NGOs focused on development issues such as health and elder care. Although the
law includes human rights among the areas in which NGOs may operate, no NGO
reported publicly on the abuse of civil, political, or other human rights by
the government or on official corruption. The government was suspicious of
human rights activities, claiming human rights concerns were largely prompted
by antiregime exile groups and hostile foreign NGOs. The few local activists
who sought to address human rights risked intimidation, harassment, and other
reprisals. International human rights NGOs continued to report difficulties
obtaining visas to visit the country.
Government Human Rights Bodies: All citizens have the right to file a petition
with the Commission on Human Rights as part of the house of deputies’ committee
for complaints and petitions. Petitions were televised, and decisions were
announced on national radio. The commission occasionally resolved such
complaints, including cases involving women’s rights in divorce cases. The
committee did not address high-profile cases and was limited to the
availability of the house of deputies, but it served as an effective remedy to
some low-level civil disputes.
Government officials responsible for human rights
functioned more to defend the government from accusations than to investigate
human rights complaints or compile statistics on such issues.
Section 6. Discrimination, Societal Abuses, and
Trafficking in Persons
The constitution and law prohibit discrimination based
on race, gender, religion, language, or social status. Neither the law nor the
constitution addresses discrimination based on disability or sexual
orientation. The government did not enforce the law effectively.
Rape and Domestic Violence: Rape is illegal and
punishable by 12 to 20 years’ imprisonment and additional fines. Spousal rape
is not addressed in the law. The government did not enforce the law
effectively, in part due to reluctance of victims and their families to report
rape. Even when cases were reported, police and judicial officials were
reluctant to act, particularly if perpetrators were politically connected.
Nevertheless, some cases were prosecuted in court during the year, but the
exact number was unavailable.
Violence against women, including spousal abuse, is
illegal, but the government did not enforce the law effectively. Victims were
reluctant to report domestic violence, which was widespread. Depending on
severity and circumstances, the penalty for assault ranges from one to 20
years’ imprisonment. Police and the judiciary were reluctant to prosecute
domestic violence cases, and no statistics were available on prosecutions,
convictions, or punishments during the year. In coordination with international
organizations, the government conducted public awareness campaigns on domestic
violence around International Women’s Day on March 8. On occasion police
organized workshops on family violence, and public marches against violence
against women were authorized.
Sexual Harassment: No law prohibits sexual harassment,
and NGOs reported that it was a problem, although the extent of the problem was
unknown. There were no government efforts to address the problem.
Reproductive Rights: The government did not interfere
with the basic right of couples and individuals to decide freely and
responsibly the number, spacing, and timing of their children and to have the
information and means to do so free from discrimination, coercion, and
violence. According to UN estimates, only 6 percent of women of reproductive
age used a modern method of contraception. Statistics on maternal health,
prenatal care, essential obstetric care, and postpartum care were dated and
unreliable. The maternal mortality rate continued to decline due to government
and private sector efforts to reduce malaria and improve care in hospitals,
according to government officials and international observers. According to the
UN Population Fund, in 2010 the maternal mortality rate was 240 deaths per
100,000 live births; 21.8 percent of those deaths were attributed to HIV/AIDS.
Some prenatal and obstetric care was free in government clinics, but
availability and quality varied greatly and access was limited primarily to the
two main cities.
Discrimination: While the law provides for equal
rights for women and men, including rights under family law, labor law, property
law, and in the judicial system, the rights of women were limited. According to
the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, the
prevalence of negative stereotypes and adverse cultural norms, customs, and
traditions – including forced and early marriage and levirate marriage (the
practice by which a man may be required to marry his brother’s widow) –
resulted in discrimination against women. Lack of legislation regulating
customary marriages and other aspects of family law also permitted
discrimination against women, particularly with respect to polygyny,
inheritance, and child custody.
The culture was conservative and maintained a societal
bias against women. Custom confined women in rural areas largely to traditional
roles. There was less overt discrimination in urban areas, although women
sometimes experienced discrimination in access to employment and credit and did
not always receive equal pay for similar work.
The government continued to provide courses, seminars,
conferences, and media programs to sensitize the population and government
agencies to the needs and rights of women. The Ministry of Social Affairs and
Gender Equality held events around International Women’s Day to raise public
awareness of these rights.
Birth Registration: Citizenship is derived from one’s parents. The Ministry of
Health requires parents to register all births, and failure to register a child
may result in denial of public services.
Education: Education is tuition-free and compulsory
until age 13. The overwhelming majority of children attended school through the
primary grades. Boys generally completed an additional seven years of secondary
school or attended a program of vocational study after primary education.
Domestic work and childbearing limited secondary education for many girls in
Child Abuse: Abuse of minors is illegal, but the
government did not enforce the law effectively, and child abuse occurred.
Physical punishment was a culturally accepted method of discipline. The
government took no steps during the year to combat child abuse.
Forced and Early Marriage: There is no minimum age for
marriage. Forced marriage occurred, especially in rural areas, although no
statistics were available. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Gender Equality
operated programs to deter child marriage but did not address forced marriage.
Sexual Exploitation of Children: Child prostitution is illegal, but some
children reportedly were involved in prostitution, especially girls working in
urban centers such as Malabo and Bata, where oil and construction industries
created demand for cheap labor and commercial sexual exploitation. The
commercial sexual exploitation of children is punishable by fines and
imprisonment. These laws were generally not enforced. The law does not address
child pornography. The minimum age for sexual consent is 18.
International Child Abductions: The country is not a party to the 1980 Hague
Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.
The Jewish community was extremely small, and there
were no reports of anti-Semitic acts.
The law does not provide persons with disabilities any
protection from discrimination in employment, education, or the provision of
other state services, nor does it mandate access to buildings or transportation
for persons with disabilities. Many newly constructed government buildings did
not make provision for access by persons with disabilities.
Children with disabilities attended primary,
secondary, and higher education, although no accommodations were made for
students with disabilities. The local Red Cross, with financial support from
the government, managed a school for deaf children in Malabo. A privately run
school for deaf children affiliated with a foreign religious group also
operated in Bata. The first lady gave several donations to help persons with
disabilities, including to the private school in Bata. Two privately funded
mental health clinics offered limited services in Bata. The government did not
routinely audit educational and mental health facilities to ascertain if
persons with disabilities were subject to abuse. There were no legal
restrictions on the right of persons to vote or participate in civic affairs on
the basis of their disability, but lack of access posed a barrier to full
Although there was no legal mandate, the ministries of
Education and Health worked to ensure that the national health-care system
provided wheelchairs and promoted government employment for persons with
Discrimination against ethnic or racial minorities was
illegal. Nevertheless, societal discrimination, harassment by security forces,
and political marginalization of minorities were problems. Foreigners were
often victimized. Irregular immigrants from Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, Mali,
Togo, Gabon, and other African countries represented a significant and growing
portion of the labor force. Officials routinely stopped foreigners at
checkpoints, asked them to provide documentation, and often abused and extorted
them (see sections 1.d. and 2.d.). The government raised wages for security
forces, in part to discourage extortion, but it did not otherwise address the
Societal Abuses, Discrimination, and Acts of Violence
Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
There are no laws criminalizing sexual orientation,
but societal stigmatization and traditional discrimination against the lesbian,
gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community were problems, and the
government made little effort to combat it. There was no legal discrimination
against LGBT persons, and discussions of sexual orientation and homosexuality
were not completely taboo. Nevertheless, LGBT lifestyles were not generally
accepted. There are no legal impediments to LGBT organizations, but none was
active during the year due mainly to societal stigma. Such stigma likely also
prevented incidents of abuse from being reported.
Other Societal Violence or Discrimination
Despite frequent public statements and radio campaigns
advocating nondiscrimination, persons with HIV/AIDS were stigmatized, and many
individuals kept their illness hidden. The government provided free HIV/AIDS
testing and treatment and supported public information campaigns to increase
awareness of health risks, availability of testing, and the importance of
practicing safe sex.
Section 7. Worker Rights
a. Freedom of Association and the Right to Collective
The law provides workers the right to establish unions, affiliate with unions
of their choice, and bargain collectively. The law also allows unions to
conduct activities without interference. The law stipulates a union must have
at least 50 members from a specific workplace to register; this rule
effectively blocked union formation.
Freedom of association and the right to collective
bargaining were not respected. The Union Organization of Small Farmers
continued to be the only legal operational labor union. Authorities continued
to refuse to recognize other existing unions.
There is no law prohibiting antiunion discrimination,
and the government placed practical obstacles before groups seeking to
organize, such as not allowing groups to register legally. The government did
not protect the right of unions to conduct their activities without
interference. Most often those seeking to organize were co-opted into existing
party structures by means of pressure and incentives.
There were few reports of organized, collective
bargaining by any group. The Ministry of Labor mediated labor disputes when
they occurred. Dismissed workers could appeal to the ministry, first through their
regional delegate, but there was little trust in the fairness of the system.
Citizens have the right to appeal ministry of labor decisions to a special
standing committee of the house of deputies established to hear citizen
complaints regarding decisions by any government agency.
The law broadly acknowledges the right to engage in
strikes, but there is no implementing legislation defining legitimate grounds
for striking. There have been no legal strikes in the country since
independence. Occasionally, both local and foreign workers engaged in temporary
protests or “go slows” (work slowdowns and planned absences), which Ministry of
Labor officials resolved peacefully through negotiations or fines on employers.
b. Prohibition of Forced or Compulsory Labor
The law prohibits forced or compulsory labor, but the
government did not effectively enforce the law. The Ministry of Labor conducted
numerous workplace inspections to verify adherence to labor laws regarding pay,
benefits, and working conditions. When violations were found, the government
required some employers to correct the problem, pay fines, or pay reparations
to the employees.
Forced labor, particularly forced child labor,
occurred. Children were transported from nearby countries – primarily Nigeria,
Benin, Cameroon, Togo, and Gabon – and forced to work as domestic servants,
market laborers, ambulant vendors, and launderers. Women from Cameroon, Benin,
and other neighboring countries were recruited for work, but some were
subsequently subjected to forced labor.
There were reports companies held the passports of
their foreign workers, a possible indication of forced labor.
c. Prohibition of Child Labor and Minimum Age for
The law prohibits children under the age of 14 from working and provides that
persons found guilty of illegally employing a minor may be punished with a fine
of approximately 50,000 to 250,000 CFA francs ($101 to $504). Children younger
than age 16 are prohibited from participating in work that may endanger their
health, security, or morals, but there were no specific restrictions on working
hours for child laborers. The Ministry of Labor is responsible for enforcing
child labor laws, but inspectors focused mainly on the construction industry
and not on child labor. The government occasionally provided social services on
an ad hoc basis to children found working in markets. Attention to school
attendance generally focused more on local children than their foreign peers.
The monthly minimum wage is 129,035 CFA ($260) for all
workers in the country. While many formal sector companies paid more than the
minimum wage, workers in the informal sector and domestic workers were not
covered under the minimum wage law. By law hydrocarbon industry workers
received salaries many times higher than those in other sectors. The government
does not have an established poverty line and does not publish estimates of
poverty. The law prescribes a standard 35-hour workweek and a 48-hour weekly
rest period. The law also requires paid leave for government holidays and
annual leave. Premium pay is required for overtime and night work, and the law
prohibits excessive or compulsory overtime. The government sets occupational
safety and health (OSH) standards. The law provides for protection of workers
from occupational hazards, but the government did not effectively enforce this
provision. The law does not provide workers with the right to remove themselves
from situations that endanger health or safety without jeopardizing their
continued employment. The law does not provide for any exceptions for foreign
or migrant workers.
The Ministry of Labor is responsible for enforcing
minimum wage, workweek rules, and OSH standards. The ministry employed
approximately 100 labor inspectors, which was insufficient to enforce the law
effectively. The ministry does not publish the results of its OSH inspections.
Legal protections exist for employees who are injured
or killed on the job and for those who are exposed to dangerous chemicals, but
these protections were generally only extended to those in the formal sector.
Protections in most petroleum companies, for example, exceeded minimum
international safety standards. The government seldom monitored workers in the
Foreigners in the oil services and construction sectors,
including migrants from Africa, Asia, and the Americas, were sometimes
subjected to poor working conditions, and the passports of some workers were
subject to confiscation. Workers were exposed to hazardous chemicals, had
insufficient safety gear, and worked long hours.