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Equatorial Guinea; United Nations: Concern Raised over Executions

(Sept. 1, 2010) In August 2010, four men, including three former military officers, were executed in Equatorial Guinea, after having been charged with treason and terrorism. They were accused of assisting with an armed attack on the presidential palace in February 2009. United Nations human rights experts from the working group on the use of mercenaries spoke about the executions on August 27, 2010, raising their concerns. (Equatorial Guinea: UN Human Rights Experts Express Concern over Executions, UN NEWS CENTRE (Aug. 27, 2010),

Amada Benavides de Pérez, the chair of the working group, and José-Luis Gomez del Prado strongly condemned the executions, stating that the death penalty was carried out on the same day as sentencing by a military court, allowing no chance for appeal, and that the executions followed “a summary trial that severely lacked due process.” (Id.) Two civilians were convicted in the same procedure, and both were sentenced to 20 years of imprisonment by the same military court, despite having been found not guilty previously in a non-military trial.

The U.N. experts also discussed the arrest process for the four defendants, who had fled to Benin. They noted that there were no formal extradition procedures undertaken and criticized the military trial as lacking transparency. (Id.)