By Agence France-Presse
Lawyers in Equatorial Guinea have filed a complaint at the supreme court against the country’s security minister over the alleged torture of opposition activists, according to papers seen by AFP on Saturday.
Three lawyers representing 144 members of the opposition Citizens for Innovation (CI) party lodged the complaint against Nicolas Obama Nchama and “the police of Malabo, Bata and Aconibe”, where the alleged crimes took place.
Officers “received the instructions from the hierarchy and took charge of torturing the militants”, the lawyers said in the papers registered on June 11 at the supreme court in the capital Malabo.
CI says several of their members were tortured between December 28 and January 3 as they were held at the central police station in Malabo, dubbed “Guantanamo” after the controversial United States camp in Cuba.
They had been arrested after an attempted rally in early November.
Photos showing the alleged acts of torture on 12 of the activists are included in the papers filed to the court.
The party has said that during their trial for “rebellion” in February, around 30 of the 147 defendants on trial could not even stand up because of the alleged torture they endured at “Guantanamo”. Three of the 147 are not part of the “torture” complaint.
The court ordered the CI party be dissolved and sentenced 21 members to more than 30 years in jail, according to the party.
More than 100 have since been released but 31 activists are still being detained, including the CI’s sole MP Jesus Mitogo, the party says.
CI says another opposition activist, Santiago Ebee Ela, 41, was killed while in detention in mid-January.
Amnesty researcher Marta Colmer said in March that since the November elections, “we have seen an increase in the number of reports of torture of members of the opposition.”