E Guinea president pardons jailed opponents

Teodoro Obiang Nguema (File: AFP)
Teodoro Obiang Nguema (File: AFP)

Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang Nguema has pardoned 81 prisoners, including 30 political opponents jailed for sedition, according to a decree seen by AFP on Thursday.

"We grant pardons to people condemned, or serving sentences for offences against the government, against public order or against recognised authorities," said the presidential decree dated Wednesday.

Those listed, including 30 opponents sentenced to more than 30 years in jail, remained behind bars on Thursday.

Among them is Jesus Mitogo, the sole parliamentary deputy of the opposition Citizens for Innovation (CI) party which was dissolved in February.

Mitogo was convicted that month, along with fellow CI militants, for "sedition, public disorder, attacks on authority and serious injuries," following clashes during legislative elections last November.

"No prisoner has yet been released," CI leader Gabriel Nse Obiang told AFP.

* Sign up to News24's top Africa news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO THE HELLO AFRICA NEWSLETTER

FOLLOW News24 Africa on Twitter and Facebook

He voiced concern that the president would never fulfil his July promise of a "total amnesty" to all political prisoners.

The CI party considers the detention of its militants to be illegal and claims they have been mistreated and tortured.

Two opponents of the regime Evaristo Oyaga Sima and Juan Obama Edu, died in prison, this year after being tortured, according to CI, a claim the government denies.

President Nguema, who has ruled the small, oil-rich state with an iron fist since 1979, issued the pardons to mark his country's 50th anniversary of independence from former colonial power Spain.

The country has closed its borders ahead of Friday's celebrations which will see several heads of state converge on the capital Malabo.

Spain will be represented by its secretary of state for external cooperation.

Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Have you been affected by the massive job losses due to lockdown?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, I have lost my job
15% - 446 votes
No, my job is thankfully safe
45% - 1354 votes
No, but my job is not secure and I am very worried
40% - 1205 votes
Vote
ZAR/USD
16.55
(+0.78)
ZAR/GBP
20.92
(+0.37)
ZAR/EUR
18.93
(+0.67)
ZAR/AUD
11.62
(+0.40)
ZAR/JPY
0.16
(+0.47)
Gold
1807.86
(-0.06)
Silver
19.25
(-0.03)
Platinum
830.00
(+0.18)
Brent Crude
43.06
(+0.42)
Palladium
1963.00
(+0.31)
All Share
56374.05
(+1.52)
Top 40
52048.69
(+1.59)
Financial 15
10697.88
(+1.61)
Industrial 25
76413.30
(+1.19)
Resource 10
54358.32
(+2.14)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo