July 11 (EUROPA PRESS) –
The European Union has expressed its concern on Monday about the “harsh sentence” of the Equatorial Guinean Justice to the leader of the dissolved opposition party Citizens for Innovation, Gabriel Nsé Obiang Obono, sentenced to almost 30 years in prison.
“The European Union is deeply concerned by the harsh sentence of the leader and other members of Citizens for Innovation. The use of a military court to sentence civilians raises serious concerns about due process and the right to a fair trial,” it said. published the spokesperson of the European Union for Foreign Policy, Nabila Massrali, on her Twitter account.
“Everyone has the right to a trial exercised by a competent, independent and impartial court (…) The European Union recalls the need to defend the rights of the accused to a fair trial, with all the legal guarantees, in full compliance with international human rights law,” the spokeswoman added in a statement.
In addition, Massrali has called for a space for debate and “peaceful, free and open” political dialogue with the opposition and other social organizations in the African country.
Nsé Obiang has been sentenced to 29 and a half years in prison in the framework of a process in which nine other members or followers of the party have received sentences of between nine and eleven years in prison, as reported by the Equatoguinean news portal Now eg.
The defendants were being tried for crimes of illicit association, illegal meetings, illegal possession of weapons and ammunition, attacking law enforcement officers, serious injuries and homicide, although Nsé Obiang has also been convicted of “abusive exercise of fundamental rights”. .
The opponent was arrested at the end of September 2022 along with more than a hundred members and supporters of the party after going to the headquarters of Citizens for Innovation –dissolved in 2018–, before a siege by the security forces , who finally broke into the facility by force.
The opposition formation, the only one that won a seat in the 2017 parliamentary elections, denounced that Nsé Obiang and “some 400 of his militants” were under “siege” for nearly seven days “without any judicial order to justify it.” The incidents resulted in the death of several civilians and an agent.
The president of Equatorial Guinea, Teodoro Obiang, is 81 years old and is the longest-serving president in the world. He was re-elected in November 2022 in an election in which he obtained 94.9 percent of the vote. The opposition Convergence for Social Democracy of Equatorial Guinea (CPDS) rejected the results, stating that the vote had been “fraudulent, undemocratic and unfair.”
Obiang has led Equatorial Guinea since the coup against his uncle, Francisco Macías Nguema, who became the country’s first president after independence from Spain in 1968. Despite the fact that there are 18 legalized parties in the country, in practice there are no opponents with real options to remove Obiang from power, amid speculation about the possibility of a ‘dynastic’ succession that would lead to the rise of his son. Teodorín’, vice president since 2016.