UN Watch calls out Equatorial Guinea for arbitrary use of torture & violence

Oral Statement by United Nations Watch
UN Human Rights Council, 42nd Session
Agenda Item 6: Universal Periodic Review of Equatorial Guinea
Delivered by Ms. Hilary Miller
20 September 2019

Thank you, Mr. President.

United Nations Watch remains deeply concerned over the ongoing human rights situation in Equatorial Guinea. The government has made limited human rights progress since the country’s 2014 review. Repression of civil and political rights continue to undermine human rights under President Obiang, who has been in power since 1979—making him the world’s longest serving president. His authoritarian regime reveals how Equatorial Guinea is a multiparty republic only in nominal terms.

United Nations Watch is especially concerned with the arbitrary use of torture and violence carried out by state security forces against the political opposition. In October 2018, 34 members of Equatorial Guinea’s main opposition party were released from prison. Reports indicate that detainees were subject to torture and violence. Pergentino Miguel Edu was released with a broken arm, while Evaristo Oyaga Sima and Juan Obama Edu died from resulting injuries.

Page seven of the UPR report says that the government is making the “eradication of torture, the punishment of inappropriate behavior by state agents, and the death of individuals in the custody of public institutions” top priorities.

In order to fully address these human rights abuses, UN Watch calls on the government of Equatorial Guinea to bring domestic law into compliance with international human rights obligations. One way is by ratifying — and complying with — the Convention against Torture. Further, to strengthen awareness and capacity-building programs on human rights, the government should establish an independent NHRI in accordance with the Paris Principles.

Mr. President, this Council must hold the government to account so that Equatorial Guinea eradicates all state-backed torture and violence currently being perpetrated against the members of the opposition.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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