Equatorial Guinea grants amnesty to political prisoners

By Felix Nkambeh Tih

ANKARA (AA) – Equatorial Guinean President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo has granted a general amnesty to all political prisoners across the country, local media reported on Thursday.

“I grant total amnesty to all citizens sentenced by the courts […] for political offenses in the exercise of their activity, serving or not serving their sentence, ” the president said.

Mbasogo added that the amnesty also concerns any person deprived of liberty or prevented from exercising his political right in the country, according to Africanews.com.

The presidenti also said that a national dialogue will take place from July 16 to 21.

In May, the Equatorial Guinean justice system dissolved the main opposition party (Citizens for Innovation) and jailed 21 of its members.

The move had triggered tension between the government and opposition supporters.

President Mbasogo has been in power since 1979. His son, Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, is the vice president of the central African oil-rich nation.

Critics say his administration is marred by corruption and embezzlement.

Mbasogo was the subject of a failed coup attempt in December 2017.

The authors of this failed coup were later arrested.