Equatorial Guinea: Visiting Leaders Should Press for Rights – Country’s Citizens Denied Free, Fair Elections

By Human Rights Watch
18 February 2013
PRESS RELEASE (Washington, D.C.)  Latin American and African officials participating in a cross-regional meeting in Equatorial Guinea should press their host, President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasago, to undertake serious human rights and democratic reforms ahead of planned parliamentary elections in May, 2013. President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil, among other officials, is anticipated to attend the Africa-South America Summit scheduled for February 20-23.

President Obiang is the world’s longest-ruling head of state. He has claimed at least 95 percent of the vote in the five presidential elections since he seized power in 1979 – elections marred by irregularities, intimidation, and voter fraud. His ruling party and its allies control 99 of the country’s 100 seats in parliament. Constitutional changes approved in November 2011 strengthened the president’s already considerable powers. Under the revised constitution, the country is to create a bicameral parliament by adding a 75-member Senate. Obiang will directly appoint 15 of its members. Elections to name the remaining legislators and fill municipal posts have been called for May 26. (read more) 
Sitting outside, SOS Children’s Village Bata

AFRICA: High cost of child trafficking

By IRIN Humanitarian News and Analysis
25 January 2012
POINTE NOIRE, (IRIN) – Forced child labour remains rampant in Central Africa, where poverty fuels the trafficking of children from poorer countries to oil-rich states such as Gabon, Equatorial Guinea and the Republic of Congo, according to experts.
In Equatorial Guinea, children “…are believed to be exploited in Malabo and Bata where a burgeoning oil industry creates demand for cheap labour and commercial sexual exploitation” (read more).
For earlier articles, please see the “Archived Updates” section on Equatorial Guinea’s page. 

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