“The death penalty is completely abolished in the Republic of Equatorial Guinea“, provides the law of the new Equatoguinean penal code, signed by the head of state, and of which the vice-president posted excerpts on Twitter.
On state television, the event was announced in a pithy way at the end of the television news, a journalist qualifying the event as “history for our country“.
Those sentenced to death in Equatorial Guinea were usually shot by soldiers. The last official execution in the country dates back to 2014, according to Amnesty International. But the regime is regularly accused of abuses by international NGOs.
Mr. Obiang, 80, holds the world record for longevity in power, more than 43 years, excluding monarchies.
“I write it in capitals to seal this unique moment: “EQUATORIAL GUINEA HAS ABOLISHED THE DEATH PENALTY”, tweeted Vice-President Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, nicknamed Teodorin, one of the sons of the Head of State, omnipresent for two years on the political scene and presented as his dolphin.
Previously adopted by parliament, where 99 of the 100 deputies sit on behalf of the Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea (PDGE), the presidential party, the provision will come into force “within 90 days of its publication in the official state bulletin“, specifies the text.
– Tortures and disappearances –
In a report in August, the human rights organization Amnesty International denounced Equatorial Guinea’s anti-gang policy which “undermines human rights“, pointing to cases of arbitrary detention, torture and enforced disappearances.
“Equatorial Guinea completely ignores Amnesty International’s statements on human rights because they lack foundation and credibility“, had then replied Mr. Obiang.
Amnesty International had estimated that in the space of three months, several thousand young men had been arrested across the country.
“Under the guise of fighting crime, authorities arbitrarily arrest and detain young people, many of whom are tortured, ill-treated or killed, or subjected to enforced disappearance“said Marta Colomer, Campaigns Manager for West and Central Africa at Amnesty International.
Amnesty International denounced the same year the torture, political repression and numerous human rights violations under the presidency of Teodoro Obiang Nguema, citing in particular a law prohibiting torture approved in 2006 but which has not been applied.
About fifty states continue to apply the death penalty in the world.
In Africa, more than 30 countries maintain the death penalty in their legislation, although just under half have carried out executions in recent years.
In Equatorial Guinea, rich in gas and oil, the vast majority of the 1.3 million inhabitants live below the poverty line, according to the World Bank.