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REPUBLIC OF EQUATORIAL GUINEA:
HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDER BRUTALLY ATTACKED

Update info:
15 Nov 2018
Country:
REPUBLIC OF EQUATORIAL GUINEA
Subject:
Alfredo Okenve
Gender m/f: m
Period:
12 Dec 2018
Distribution date:
15 Nov 2018
UA No:
189/2018

Alfredo Okenve, an Equatorial Guinea human rights defender was brutally attacked on 27 October by unknown armed men. He was later abandoned in a lonely area outside the city of Bata, northwest of Equatorial Guinea.

Equatorial Guinean human rights defender Alfredo Okenve was severely injured after a brutal attack by unidentified men. On Saturday 27 October, at around 8pm, Alfredo Okenve was in his car with his brother leaving their home in the neighbourhood of Newton in the city of Bata. Just as they were leaving, a car appeared and blocked the road. Two armed men dressed in plain clothes got out of the car and ordered Alfredo Okenve to get out of his car. The men said to Alfredo Okenve, “It is you, it is you who we are looking for.” Alfredo Okenve insisted in showing his identity, but the men started beating him and dragged him to their vehicle. They took him away leaving his brother inside the car. They drove him to a forested area and for almost two hours they severely beat Alfredo Okenve all over his body using the butts of their guns and sticks. They took away his personal belongings, including his wallet with his documents and a mobile phone, before abandoning him in Alep, an area in the outskirts of Bata. Despite being seriously injured, Alfredo Okenve managed to walk and get help. His family rushed him to hospital to get treatment for his injuries including a stab-wound on his left foot. Fearing for his safety, his family refused to let the doctors hospitalize him and instead took him home after being treated.

Alfredo Okenve is a well-known human rights defender and activist that for many years has been denouncing, nationally and internationally, regular patters of human rights violations and corruption in his home country, Equatorial Guinea. He is one of the Vice-presidents of Center for Development Studies and Initiatives (CEID), a human rights and development organization.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Human rights defenders and activists in Equatorial Guinea are regularly harassed, intimidated, arbitrarily arrested and detained simply for the work they do. All these attacks are meant to obstruct their work and force them into silence.

The rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly are unduly restricted, including by suspending activities of civil society organizations and beating and unlawfully arresting and detaining people who seek to exercise their right to peaceful assembly.

Human rights defenders and activists who are victims of human rights violations, including ill-treatment and arbitrary detention. These cases illustrate the pattern of repression that human rights defenders and activists face in Equatorial Guinea at the hands of the authorities.

On 17 April 2017, Alfredo Okenve together with his colleague Enrique Asumu were detained in the capital, Malabo, after they objected to the authorities’ decision to prevent Enrique Asumu from boarding a plane to Bata city the previous day. Enrique Asumu was released eight days later on health grounds after paying a fine of CFA francs 2 million (USD3,500). Alfredo Okenve was released on 4 May after paying the same fine.

UA: 189/18 Index: AFR 24/9339/2018 Issue Date: 31 October 2018

Take action

Please write immediately in Spanish or your own language:

  • Urging the authorities to carry out inmediately an independent and exhasutive investigation into the attack against the human rights defender Alfredo Okenve and those found to be reponsible to be brought to justice as soon as possible;
  • Calling on them to take all measures, in accordance with those benefciaries, to protect Alfredo Okenve and his colleagues from the Center for Development Studies and Initiatives (CEID) from any further attacks or threats;
  • Calling on the authorities to ensure a safe and enabling environment for human rights defenders and activists to work without fear of punishment, reprisal, or intimidation.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 12 DECEMBER 2018 TO:
President of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea
Mr. Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo
Palacio Presidencial
Avenida de la Libertad
Malabo, Equatorial Guinea
Salutation: His Excellency

Minister of Foreign Affairs
Mr.Simeón Oyono Esono Angue,
Ministro de Asuntos Exteriores y Cooperación Internacional
Malabo, Equatorial Guinea
Salutation: Dear Minister

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country.

Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.