The Interior Committee of Congress on Tuesday unanimously approved a proposal by the Parliamentary Group of Unidas Podemos urging the Government to condemn human rights violations in Equatorial Guinea following a lawsuit filed in the National Court against Carmelo Ovono Obiang, son of the president of the African republic, Teodoro Obiang, and two other people for the alleged kidnapping and torture of four opponents.
In the Proposition, collected by Europa Press, the ‘purple’ MPs demanded that “any type of practice contrary to international law” carried out by agents of that country outside its territory should also be condemned, and that police cooperation in the European Union should be promoted “to pursue in the most effective way the illegal criminal organisation that exists in different European countries, of tracking and kidnapping opponents of the regime of Equatorial Guinea”.
The initiative also seeks that the Executive requests the authorities of Equatorial Guinea to “clarify what happened to the Spanish citizen Julio Obama Mefuman”, one of the opponents who was kidnapped and died in an Equatorial Guinean prison. And that the necessary steps be taken to repatriate his body.
It also wants Pedro Sánchez’s government to ask Equatorial Guinea to respect the right to life and physical integrity of all those detained, and to release Feliciano Efa Mangue (whose pardon has already been requested by the Spanish state) and the other two people with permanent residence in Spain detained for the same acts: Martín Obiang and Bienvenido Ndong.
During the committee session, the deputy of Unidas Podemos Enrique Santiago pointed out that there is “great repression” in Equatorial Guinea against opponents and referred to the specific case of the four alleged kidnap victims to indicate that from what has been investigated by the police it can be deduced that there is “a criminal plan” for the kidnapping and transfer of opponents to the African country by means of deception.
In his turn to speak, the Socialist deputy Luc Andre Diouf tried to add – unsuccessfully – “corrections” to the text presented by Unidas Podemos, indicating that it is more accurate to point out that Spanish foreign policy “is based on the pillars of democracy”, on the defence of human rights and public freedoms in Equatorial Guinea and of the people detained.
He pointed out that once the judicial proceedings – in the Audiencia Nacional – have been opened, the Spanish government must respect the independence of these proceedings, and added that Spanish cooperation with Equatorial Guinea “is not based on military and police cooperation”, but that it is the European Union (EU) that fights against piracy through the European mechanism of shared maritime presences.
Diouf recalled that Spain will always defend the guarantees that should prevail in a democratic system, whether in Equatorial Guinea or in any other state. “The actions of this government follow our constitutional mandate, and from the commission we will ask the government to continue along this line of action and to continue with the steps taken in relation to the death of Obama Mefuman”, he added.
Enrique Santiago, although he pointed out that he agreed with these nuances, refused to introduce them by way of amendment because they refer to issues relating to the country’s foreign policy that in no way affect the PNL.
For his part, the PP deputy Pablo Hispán, who described Obiang’s regime as an “atrocious and brutal dictatorship”, regretted that people of all political persuasions were trying to plunder the spoils that the country has to offer, from cocoa to oil. He accused former Socialist Foreign Minister Miguel Ángel Moratinos of endorsing an “electoral farce” in that republic and said it was shameful.
He also described as shameful the amendment that the Socialist Group tried to introduce in the text presented by Podemos because “it tries to appease the Guinean dictatorship”. “Spanish foreign policy is absent from Equatorial Guinea”, he lamented, and then pointed out that there should be a common position against the regime.
For his part, Vox deputy Pedro Fernández, who called for the reprobation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Manuel Albares, attacked the “permissive” position of the government with the Obiang regime and accused him of “subordinating the fundamental rights of two Spanish citizens to economic interests”.
After the different interventions, the PNL was voted on, with 36 votes in favour, no votes against and no abstentions.