Information transmitted to the Government
227. By letter dated 26 August 1993 the Special Rapporteur advised the Government that he had received information according to which torture is habitually used in Equatorial Guinea as a means of extracting confessions from detainees or as a form of punishment. Although it is used principally against political detainees, it is reportedly also used against persons suspected of ordinary offences. Methods of torture include beatings, applied particularly to the soles of the feet, electric shocks applied to the genital organs and hanging of the detainees by their feet or arms. Torture is common, above all during police detention, but it was reported also that prisoners already sentenced have sometimes been removed from prison by security forces and tortured.
228. Conditions in the penitentiary centres are reported to be deplorable, particularly for women. Neither the "Black Beach" prison in Malabo nor Bata prison provides any real separation between men and women, and cases of sexual abuse and rape of women by male prisoners and/or guards are allegedly common. Medical care is systematically refused.
229. The following individual cases were transmitted to the Government:
(a) Andrés Angue Abeso a former member of the town council of Sen-Esason, was arrested in April 1992 on accusation of having used magic against the authorities. He was said to have been severely beaten, and tied to a post and left in the sun for five hours.
(b) Demetrio Alfara, Tomás Buechecu, Julio Esono, Enrique Ndong, Pablo Ndong, Gaspar Ondo and Guadalupe Ngue were part of a group of 29 persons who were detained on 1 September 1992 when the police raided the offices of the Progress Party of Equatorial Guinea (PPGE) at Malabo. The detainees were taken to the National Police headquarters, and the persons listed above were transferred to Playa Negra prison. All of them were reportedly beaten on the soles of their feet.
(c) Esteban Juan Mbomio Nchama a prisoner serving a four-year sentence at Black Beach prison, was taken to a police station on 8 June 1991 for interrogation in connection with some prisoners accused of murder. His hands and feet were reportedly tied up, and he was beaten and suspended by the wrists for six hours until one of his arms broke. He was then taken back to the prison where he was kept in a punishment cell for seven months. No medical care was provided.
(d) Dámaso Abaga Nve died on 31 March 1993 allegedly as a result of torture inflicted on the premises of Ebebiyin police station. A doctor from the district hospital reportedly examined the body and confirmed a fracture of the left hand, three bruises to the head, two frontal bruises and interdigital cuts on the left hand.
230. The Special Rapporteur was also informed that, in connection with a peaceful demonstration held in Bata on 24 November 1992, about 40 students and teachers were arrested by the police and detained for two days. All of them were reported to have been seriously tortured.
231. Furthermore, on 17 December 1992, about a hundred persons were arrested in Malabo, including teachers of the Rey Malabo National Institute of Secondary Education, and released about 10 days later. According to reports, most of them were repeatedly beaten on the head, back, genital organs and the soles of their feet. For example, Celestino Bacale, a member of the Convergence for Social Democracy, sustained serious injuries to the kidney area and broken teeth, and Arsenio Moro several broken ribs and a pierced tympanum.
232. The Special Rapporteur made urgent appeals on behalf of the persons referred to in the following paragraphs, with regard to whom fears were expressed that they might be subjected to torture while in detention. The dates on which the appeals were transmitted appear in brackets at the end of the corresponding summaries.
233. Twenty-one persons were arrested in Malabo at the end of August 1993 at the time of the return from exile of the leader of the Unión Popular party. It was alleged that the detainees were taken to the barracks of the former Moroccan Guard, where they were doused with petrol and left in the sun for several hours. One of the detainees, who was later released, allegedly suffered a severe beating which caused ear, leg and thigh injuries and left him with great difficulty in walking. It was also reported that one member of the Unión Popular, Pedro Motu, was detained on 22 August and died a few days later in Black Beach prison as a result of injuries caused by torture. (31 August 1993)
234. Francisco Engono Micué, a 51-year-old civil servant from the municipality of Bata and his cousin José Ramón Obama, were allegedly detained on 31 August 1993 in Bata by members of the security police and beaten on the way to the police station. (3 September 1993)
235. Tobías Obiang Nguema, a former army lieutenant, was allegedly detained on 3 September 1993 in Ebebiyín in north-west Río Muni province. It was reported that he was later transferred to Malabo, where he was interrogated at the military barracks situated in the vicinity of the President's palace, and that during interrogation he was severely tortured to force him to sign a confession concerning his involvement in an attempt to overthrow the present Government. (14 September 1993)