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Equatorial Guinea's clampdown on opposition worries E.U.

Equatorial Guinea

The European Union has expressed worry over the political, human rights and security situation in Equatorial Guinea.

According to the E.U., the Central African nation – a current member of the United Nations Security Council “must take all necessary steps to fulfil its international obligations regarding human rights and fundamental freedoms.”

A statement issued early this month by the E.U. also stressed the need for Malabo to conclusively probe the death in detention of an opposition member amid a crackdown launched after a failed government overthrow in December 2017.

“The death under police custody of Mr. Ebee Ela, a member of the opposition party ‘Ciudadanos por la Innovación’, confirms the serious deterioration of the human rights situation in the country.

“The competent authorities of Equatorial Guinea should properly investigate, without delay, and clarify the causes of his death.

On the particular issue, President Obiang Nguema in a January 2017 interview with France24/RFI said Ebee Ela, a sickler at the time died due to possible natural consequences. He, however, added that he could order a probe into the incident.

The statement further bemoaned what it said was “continuing restrictions of freedoms and arrests, in particular of political opponents,” adding that: “To this day, over 130 people are reported as arbitrarily remaining in detention.”

But in his interview with the French channels, Nguema – Africa’s longest serving leader, stressed that there were not as many detainees in jails as widely reported in the media. He recently dissolved the cabinet by a decree but has reappointed the last Prime Minister to form a new government.

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