A group of prisoners released in Evinayong./ Photo: www.guineaecuatorialpress.com
Eduardo González. 28/10/2018
The Government of Equatorial Guinea approved on Monday a presidential pardon that has allowed the release of more than 80 prisoners, including some thirty members of the main opposition party, Citizens for Innovation (CI).
Spain expressed its “satisfaction” and the opposition in exile has called on President Teodoro Obiang Nguema the “cessation of all violence” in order to pave the way for the “peaceful transition to democracy”.
According to the Equatoguinean Executive on its website, the application of the pardon decree “once again constitutes for national and international public opinion the irreversible will of the President of the Republic, HE Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, to sustain and maintain freedom, peace, justice, the dignity of man, democracy and dignity before the law”.
The same source said that the number of prisoners released in an “atmosphere of joy and enthusiasm” is 59 in the prison of Evinayong, of which “28 are prisoners of the extinct CI party”.
According to sources of this party, some of the released ones showed “terrible signs of tortures” and two of their militants, Evaristo Oyaga Sima and Juan Obama Edu, passed away in prison at the end of May and beginning of July because of the tortures, an extreme that has been rejected by the regime.
The own Ciudadanos para la Innovación celebrated this Monday in an official notice the liberation of the leaders and militants of the party that “were stopped and jailed in December 2017 and condemned in the judgment of Mongomo, the past month of February of the present year”, and declared that, “once again, democracy and the defense of human rights have triumphed”.
Likewise, the opposition Convergencia para la Democracia Social de Guinea Ecuatorial (CPDS) celebrated the release of political prisoners while demanding the release of all persons who are still detained “without trial or conviction”.
Spain expresses its “satisfaction for the effective application of the presidential pardon”
For its part, the opposition forces exiled in Spain Progress Party of Equatorial Guinea, Popular Union, Popular Action of Equatorial Guinea and Movement of Self-determination of the Island of Bioko expressed their “true satisfaction and joy” for the release of political prisoners, but they recalled that “there is still a large number of imprisoned opponents, many of whom do not know in what prison they are being held or if they have died as a result of torture, a fact that has been common in our country in recent years”.
“The exiled opposition has no qualms about recognizing that this release has been an important gesture of the dictator”, admitted the opposition formations. “In addition to this gesture, we demand from Obiang Nguema the cessation of all violence against our people, action necessary to pave the way for a negotiation between the dictator and the whole of the democratic opposition of Equatorial Guinea”. This negotiation “will mark the beginning of the corresponding process of peaceful transition towards the full democratization of Equatorial Guinea in which we are engaged”, they concluded.
For its part, the Spanish Government expressed its “satisfaction for the effective application of the presidential pardon agreed on the occasion of the commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Independence of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea”, which has allowed the release of “a significant number of prisoners that were serving sentences in prisons in Equatorial Guinea, including among them the Ciudadanos para la Innovación militants imprisoned in the prison of Evinayong”.
Likewise, the Executive of Pedro Sánchez described this measure as a “very important step” and requested, “with full respect for the sovereignty and the institutions of Equatorial Guinea”. that the Obiang regime make “additional gestures of openness”. In this sense, “within the framework of relations of friendship and cooperation”, Spain places itself at the disposal of Equatorial Guinea to “accompany it along the path of democratic progress, tolerance and national reconciliation”.