Enrique Asumu and Alfredo Okenve, leaders of the independent NGO CEID Equatorial Guinea, have been arrested by the Ministry of National Security at the request of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, Clemente Engonga Nguema Onguene.
CEID held in Malabo from 14 to 15 April the 20th anniversary of its foundation. The event was attended by representatives of public institutions (Ministry of Mines), civil society, companies and embassies (USA or France), among others. On the night of 16 April, the border police of Malabo Airport prevented the boarding on his way back to Bata of Enrique Asumu, who is also under medical treatment.
At 6 pm on April 17, after an interrogation of more than 5 hours to which they have been subdued to, it appears that the Deputy Prime Minister intends to fine CEID with 10 million FCFA (15.000 EUR aprox.) for operating while the NGO was "suspended". CEID is now worried about the possible arrest of more members that have been "summoned" to give a statement regarding their participation in the celebration of the 20th anniversary. CEID has been operating regularly since last September, when it announced the resumption of its activities. Since then CEID has organized or participated in various activities with the presence of different ministries, including the Prime Minister, Pascual Obama Asue.
This renewed action of intimidation from the Ministry of the Interior in connivance with the Ministry of National Security is yet again a prove of the harassment to civil society that CEID has been denouncing for a long time and that have hindered the participation of Equatorial Guinea in the EITI process.
The arrest of Alfredo and Enrique has no legal basis, is arbitrary, disproportionate, and violates the rights and freedoms of these two activists.
We ask the national civil society in particular, national and international institutions, embassies, etc. to join our demand for the immediate release from the so called "Guantanamo" prison of Enrique Asumu and Alfredo Okenve.
CEID is an independent organization that since 1997 has been fighting for the improvement of the social rights of citizens of Equatorial Guinea.
The Board of Directors. Malabo April 17th.
Mariano Nkogo: +240 222256818
Anacleto Micha: +240 222626266