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Execution of four men in Equatorial Guinea condemned

Source: amnesty.org

Amnesty International today condemned the execution of four

men in
Equatorial Guinea, all convicted of attempting to
assassinate the
countryâ€=99s President.
José Abeso Nsue, Manuel Ndong Anseme, Alipio Ndong

Asumu and Jacinto Michá
Obiang were executed on 21 August immediately after being

convicted by a
military court in the country's capital Malabo.
â€=9cThese men were convicted after an unfair trial,

sentenced to death and
executed with chilling speed without having the slightest

opportunity to
appeal their sentence,â€=9d said Erwin van der Borght,

Africa Director at
Amnesty International.
The four men had been living as refugees in Benin for many

years, when
Equatorial Guinean security forces abducted them in January

2010.
The former military officers were then secretly detained in

Black Beach
prison in Malabo, where they reportedly
â€=9cconfessedâ€=9d to the attack on the
presidential palace on 17 February 2009.
Amnesty International received reports that they had been

tortured in
detention, forcing them to â€=9cconfessâ€=9d to taking

part in the alleged attack.
â€=9cEquatorial Guinea must put an end to the abductions,

torture and
executions it currently carries out under the pretence of

justice,â€=9d said
Erwin van der Borght.
José Abeso had reportedly asked to see his family when

the sentence was
passed but when his wife and son arrived at Black Beach

prison an hour
later he had already been executed.
Equatorial Guinean authorities initially blamed the

presidential palace
attack on Nigerian armed group Movement for the Emancipation

of the Niger
Delta, who denied responsibility.
Scores of Nigerians were rounded up, imprisoned and expelled

from
Equatorial Guinea following the incident. Seven Nigerian

fishermen and
traders, who had been arrested at sea, were in April 2010

sentenced to 12
years in prison for attempting to assassinate the president.

Two Equatorial Guinean members of the opposition party

Peopleâ€=99s Union (
Unión Popular â€=93 UP), who were tried along with

the Nigerian nationals,
were acquitted in April. Despite their acquittal, Marcelino

Nguema and
Santiago Asumu were last week convicted on the same charges

and were on 21
August sentenced by the Malabo military court to 20 years

and one day in
prison.
â€=9cMarcelino Nguema and Santiago Asumu were tried twice

on the same charges
in a clear violation of international law. We consider them

prisoners of
conscience and are calling for their immediate and
unconditional release,â€=9d
said Erwin van der Borght.
Equatorial Guinea has been criticised by the UN for

abducting Equatorial
Guinean refugees from neighbouring countries and holding

them in secret
detention.