Equatorial Guinea. In January, seven Nigerians were each sentenced to twelve years in prison and high fines for participating in an armed attack on the presidential palace in 2009. In August, four former high ranking military and civil servants were sentenced to death for lying behind the same attack. According to Amnesty International, they were executed less than an hour after the judges fell, without being given a chance to appeal. Amnesty also claimed that the men were fleeing Benin when the attack was carried out and that they were robbed from there in January by Equatorial Guinea’s security service.
According to COUNTRYAAH, Equatorial Guinea has a population of 1.309 million (2018). A large number of human rights groups from around the world objected to the UN’s international cooperation in education, science, culture and communication (UNESCO) deciding to award a prize named after Equatorial Guinea’s dictator Teodoro Obiang Nguema for five years. He himself had financed the price of a total of 1.5 million US dollars and stated that it would accrue to people who, through scientific evidence, have contributed to raising people’s quality of life. The human rights groups urged UNESCO to find out where the money came from. Obiang, one of Africa’s most brutal one-ruler rulers, has for many years been accused of confiscating most of the country’s large oil revenues.
In a US TV interview, Obiang promised greater transparency in the oil industry in Equatorial Guinea, social reform, investigation of suspected human rights violations and the opportunity for the International Red Cross Committee to work in the country.
But the promises didn’t help. In October, UNESCO decided to shelve plans for an Obiang Prize. The regime in Equatorial Guinea protested in vain that the organization had been led by a “disinformation campaign”.
A French court in November decided to approve a lawsuit filed by Transparency International (TI) against President Obiang. Prosecutors are investigating whether – as TI claims – he has used the equivalent of close to SEK 40 million of state funds to buy cars for himself in France.