Amnesty International has openly rebuked the executions of four former military officers accused of attempting to assassinate the country’s president, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo. José Abeso Nsue, Manuel Ndong Anseme, Alipio Ndong Asumu and Jacinto Michá Obiang were sentenced to death on August 21st on charges of terrorism and treason by a court in the country’s capital, Malabo. They were executed immediately after the sentencing. Africa Director at Amnesty, Erwin van der Borght condemned: ‘These men were convicted after an unfair trial, sentenced to death and executed with chilling speed without having the slightest opportunity to appeal their sentence’.
The former officers had been living in Benin as refugees until January 2010, when they were abducted and secretly detained in Malabo’s, Black Beach prison. According to Amnesty, the men were tortured and coerced into making false confessions. Prior to these arrests, authorities in Equatorial Guinea believed Nigerian armed group Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta to be behind the failed attack against the president, leading to the subsequent imprisonment and expulsion of scores of Nigerians from the Central African country.
The executions come amid reports that Equatorial Guinea is trying to repair its tattered image in an effort to attract the international investment that is so sorely needed, despite outputting 300,000 barrels of oil a day. However, the news is set to reinforce the government’s image as a corrupt and merciless.