Equatorial Guinea: Political Cartoonist Arrested

September 23, 2017, 3:38 pm

(NEW YORK) Equatorial Guinean authorities arrested a political cartoonist and activist on September 16, 2017, He has been held in detention since then and authorities may be preparing to file criminal defamation charges against him.

The arrest of the cartoonist, Ramón Nsé Esono Ebalé, is the latest episode of government retaliation against artists who have used their work to criticize the government.

The Equatorial Guinea authorities are standing on the country’s colonial era statute which allows for the prosecution of anyone who criticizes the president or top government officials.

Three state security officers detained Ebalé outside a restaurant in the capital, Malabo, at about 7 p.m. on September 16, along with two Spanish nationals who were with him. All three men were taken to the Office Against Terrorism and Dangerous Activities in the Central Police Station. The Spanish nationals were interrogated about their connection to Ebalé and freed after several hours.

Authorities continue to hold Ebalé without charge, exceeding the 72-hour period allowed under Equatoguinean law. Interrogators reportedly questioned him about his political cartoons, which often lewdly caricature President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo and other government officials, and repeatedly told him that people may only participate in politics if they are associated with an official party.

We must stand up and speak against unlawful detention of Ramon Nse and draconian statutes that speaks against fundamental human rights of the people of Equatorial Guinea.

League of Justice