Equatorial Guinea

The brutal kleptocracy of Equatorial Guinea hopes to gain a measure of international acceptance by hosting the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) soccer spectacle that kicked off last weekend. The oil and gas wealth generated by this “Kuwait of Africa” provides the economic wherewithal for the ruling elite to buy favours while the bulk of the population wallows in repressive poverty.

Authorities in Equatorial Guinea have arbitrarily detained the prominent lawyer Fabián Nsue Nguema in Black Beach prison in Malabo, the capital of Equatorial Guinea, and are refusing to allow him visitors, EG Justice and Human Rights Watch said. Nsue’s wife told Human Rights Watch that she was twice refused when she asked to see her husband but that prison authorities had privately confirmed to her that he is being held there.

A top human rights lawyer in Equatorial Guinea has gone missing, fuelling concern that he has been illegally detained, a rights group has said. Fabian Nsue Nguema was last known to have visited a jail on Monday to see a client, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said. Equatorial Guinea's government has not yet commented on his alleged detention.

Nsue has been harassed by the government on numerous occasions, raising concerns that his detention is politically motivated. In 2002 he was tortured while in government custody.

The UNESCO-Equatorial Guinea International Prize for Research in the Life Sciences, controversially endowed by Equatorial Guinea, was finally awarded in Paris 17 July, after years of wrangling and postponements. The three prize winners - from Egypt, Mexico and South Africa - each received US$100,000 from Equatorial Guinea's vice president, Ignacio Milam Tang, amid speculation about whether the country's dictatorial president, and the prize's original funder, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, wou...read more