Amnesty International has called for the release of four persons it claimed were illegally arrested and detained in Equitorial Guinea by the government for over five months.
It also frowned at what it called “immigration raids that took place in major cities such as Malabo, Bata, Mongomo, and Ebibeyin between October 30, 2021, and early December 2021.”
Accusing the Equitorial Guinean government of massive arrests of immigrants, the human rights organisation claimed: “security forces stopped people in the street who believed they had “foreign African facial features” and demanded that they show their identity papers.
“Those who did not have their documents were arrested and detained on the spot, often regardless of their immigration status.”
Amnesty International, in a statement, added: ” According to local organisations, more than 500 people, mostly nationals of Cameroon, Nigeria, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Central African Republic, Chad, and Mali, have been arrested in several cities across the country.
“Dozens of those arrested alleged that they were severely beaten and ill-treated during their arrest and detention.
“The vast majority of detained individuals did not receive any legal assistance, nor did they have access to appropriate legal procedures related to their detention such as administrative or legal procedures to challenge the grounds for their detention.
“They have been held in a police station in Malabo, the capital, since mid-November 2021, in excess of the 60-day limit stipulated in Organic Law 3/2010 regulating the rights of foreigners in Equatorial Guinea.
“Many people concerned with the issue called for the necessity of stopping these indiscriminate raids on immigrant communities. Treat all illegal immigrants humanely and in accordance with the law.”
“Nobody should be arbitrarily arrested and detained on the basis of racial profiling. In Equatorial Guinea, however, arbitrary arrests, and a shocking lack of adherence to legal guarantees provided in national and international laws remain the norm, rather than the exception,” said Marta Colomer Amnesty International’s Senior Campaigner for West and Central Africa.
The human rights situation, already poor in Equatorial Guinea, has deteriorated in recent years and the government has been accused of harassment, intimidation, and arbitrary detention of human rights defenders.
The rights to freedom of assembly and association were restricted and people who attended peaceful assemblies were arbitrarily arrested and beaten.
Pregnant girls were prevented from attending school.
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