E Guinea releases 34 political prisoners: opposition

Equatorial Guinea (iStock)
Equatorial Guinea (iStock)

Equatorial Guinea's main opposition party said 34 of its members were freed from prison on Monday following a pardon from strongman ruler Teodoro Obiang Nguema, but that many of them had been tortured.

Those released include Jesus Mitogo, the sole parliamentary deputy of the opposition Citizens for Innovation (CI) party which was dissolved in February.

"We are happy that our comrades have been released although many of them bear the scars of torture," the CI's president Gabriel Nse Obiang told AFP.

Another of the released prisoners, Pergentino Miguel Edu, had a broken arm for nine months, the party said, adding that two detainees, Evaristo Oyaga Sima and Juan Obama Edu, died in jail in May and August respectively.

Equatorial Guinea authorities have denied this.

President Obiang, who has ruled the oil-rich country with an iron fist since 1979, issued the pardons on October 10 to mark Equatorial Guinea's 50th anniversary of independence from Spain.

A total of 81 prisoners were pardoned. Some of whom had been sentenced to more than 30 years in jail.

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