Death Penalty Database

Equatorial Guinea

Information current as of: April 11, 2011

General

Official Country Name

Republic of Equatorial Guinea (Equatorial Guinea). [1]

Geographical Region

Africa (Middle Africa). [2]

Death Penalty Law Status

Retentionist. [3]

Methods of Execution

Hanging.
(civil courts). [4]

Shooting. [5]
by firing squad [6] (military courts). [7]

References

[1] U.S. Dept. of State, Background Note: Equatorial Guinea, http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/7221.htm, Jun. 28, 2010.
[2] U.N., World Macro Regions and Components, U.N. Doc. ST/ESA/STAT/SER.R/29, 2000.
[3] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2014, ACT 50/001/2015, Mar. 31, 2015.
[4] Amnesty Intl., When the State Kills, p. 132, Amnesty Intl. Publications, 1989.
[5] Richard Clark, Executions in August 2010, http://www.capitalpunishmentuk.org/aug10.html, last accessed Sep. 28, 2010.
[6] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Manfred Nowak, Addendum, Mission to the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, p. 33, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/13/39/Add.4, Jan. 7, 2010.
[7] Amnesty Intl., When the State Kills, p. 132, Amnesty Intl. Publications, 1989.

Country Details

Language(s)

Spanish. [1]

Population

633,441. (Jul. 2009 est.). [2]

Number of Individuals Currently Under Sentence of Death

Around 20. In 2003, at least 22 people were reported to be on death row in Equatorial Guinea. [3] One death sentence was given in 2004 [4] and three people were executed in 2007. [5] The four people sentenced to death on August 21, 2010 were executed the same day. [6] As of October 2010, we thus evaluate the number of individuals on death row to be around 20.

During its review by the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review in 2009, the Equatoguinean delegation mentioned that “many of those condemned to capital punishment have been reprieved or had their sentences commuted” but it did not give specific information as of the number or the years. [7]

Annual Number of Reported Executions

Executions in 2017 to date (last updated on December 6, 2017)

0. [8]

Executions in 2016

0. [9]

Per capita execution rate in 2016

Executions in 2015

0. [10]

Per capita execution rate in 2015

0 executions.

Executions in 2014

9. [11]

Per capita execution rate in 2014

1 execution per 70,382 persons.

Executions in 2013

0. [12]

Per capita execution rate in 2013

0 executions

Executions in 2012

0. [13]

Per capita execution rate in 2012

0 executions

Executions in 2011

0. [14]

Per capita execution rate in 2011

0 executions

Executions in 2010

4. [15]

Executions in 2009

0. [16]

Executions in 2008

0. [17]

Executions in 2007

3. [18]

Year of Last Known Execution

2014. [19]

References

[1] The Constitution of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, art. 4, as amended by Constitutional Law No. 1/1995, Jan. 17, 1995.
[2] U.S. Dept. of State, Background Note: Equatorial Guinea, http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/7221.htm, Jun. 28, 2010.
[3] Mark Warren, The Death Penalty Worldwide: Estimated Death Row Populations, http://users.xplornet.com/~mwarren/global.htm, Sep. 21, 2010.
[4] La Peine de Mort dans le Monde, La peine de mort – Guinée Equatoriale, http://www.peinedemort.org/National/pays.php?pays=130, last accessed Sep. 28, 2010.
[5] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2007, p. 6, ACT 50/001/2008, Apr. 15, 2008.
[6] Amnesty Intl., Execution of four men in Equatorial Guinea condemned, http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/execution-four-men-equatorial-guinea-condemned-2010-08-23, Aug. 23, 2010; Amnesty Intl., Urgent Action, Four Abducted Refugees Executed, AFR 24/012/2010, Aug. 24, 2010.
[7] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review, Equatorial Guinea, p. 12, para. 66, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/13/16, Jan. 4, 2010.
[8] DPW Executions and Death Sentences Monitor.
[9] Amnesty International, Death sentences and executions in 2016, ACT 50/5740/2017, Apr. 11, 2017.
[10] DPW Executions and Death Sentences Monitor.
[11] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2014, ACT 50/001/2015, Mar. 31, 2015.
[12] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2013, ACT 50/001/2014, Mar. 26, 2014.
[13] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2012, ACT 50/001/2012, Apr. 9, 2013.
[14] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2011, ACT 50/001/2012, http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ACT50/001/2012/en, Mar. 27, 2012.
[15] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and 9. Executions in 2010 in 2010, p. 5, ACT 50/001/2011, Mar. 28, 2011.
[16] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2009, ACT 50/001/2010, Mar. 30, 2010.
[17] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2008, ACT 50/003/2009, Mar. 24, 2009.
[18] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2007, p. 6, ACT 50/001/2008, Apr. 15, 2008.
[19] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2014, ACT 50/001/2015, Mar. 31, 2015.

Crimes and Offenders Punishable By Death

Crimes Punishable by Death

Many of the Equatoguinean laws and decrees that are now in force date prior to its independence, “without any thorough assessment having been made to determine whether they are compatible with the current Constitution and the laws adopted since 1995.” [1] The Penal Code, Criminal Procedure Act and Code of Military Justice dating back to the Franco dictatorship “contain principles and standards incompatible with the 1995 Constitution and international instruments.” [2]

Aggravated Murder.
Parricide [3] and aggravated homicide [4] are punishable by death.

Robbery Not Resulting in Death.
Armed robbery is punishable by death, if certain aggravating circumstances are present: when the offender intentionally raped or mutilated the victim, or when the victim was held as a hostage or for more than one day, or where the robbery was accompanied by an attempted kidnapping. [5]

Treason.
Various crimes against the head of state are punishable by death, including murder and attempted murder, holding him against his will, forcing him to commit an act against his will under threat of intimidation, and causing him severe harm. [6] Inducing a foreign power to declare war against “Spain” is also punishable by death (it is questionable how this provision would be applied in modern-day Equatorial Guinea). [7] In addition, armed rebellion, [8] sedition, [9] and treason [10] are punishable by death.

Espionage. [11]

Military Offenses Not Resulting in Death.
Various military offenses are punishable by death, including desertion, [12] negligent performance of duties, [13] rebellion, [14] insurrection, [15] insult to sentry, guard or armed force, [16] insubordination, [17] disobeying the orders of a superior, [18] and offenses against military honor. [19]

War crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.
Certain war crimes are punishable by death. [20]

Other Offenses Not Resulting in Death.
Piracy is punishable by death. [21]

Does the country have a mandatory death penalty?

Yes. Under the Spanish Code of Military Justice, a number of offenses carry a mandatory death sentence.

For Which Offenses, If Any, Is a Mandatory Death Sentence Imposed?

Treason. [22]

Military Offenses Not Resulting in Death.
Leading a rebellion, [23] insurrection, [24] insult to sentry or guard, [25] insult to a superior, [26] disobeying the orders of a superior, and [27] offenses against military honor [28] are all punished by death under the 1945 Spanish Code of Military Justice.

Comments.
Although Hood and Hoyle conclude that the death penalty is mandatory for murder [29] in Equatorial Guinea, this is not the case under the 1963 Penal Code.

Crimes For Which Individuals Have Been Executed Since January 2008:

Terrorism-Related Offenses Not Resulting in Death.
Terrorism-Related Offenses Not Resulting in Death. [30]

Treason.
Treason. [31]

Categories of Offenders Excluded From the Death Penalty:

Individuals Below Age 18 At Time of Crime.
Equatorial Guinea is party to the ICCPR [32] and to the Convention on the Rights of the Child [33] , which prohibit the execution of individuals for crimes committed while under the age of 18. However, the age of criminal responsibility is 16 years in Equatorial Guinea. Extenuating circumstances are provided for persons aged between 16 and 18, but we are not sure how these are applied in practice. [34]

Pregnant Women.
Equatorial Guinea is party to the ICCPR [35] which prohibits the execution of pregnant women. National law also provides that pregnant women may not be executed. [36]

Women With Small Children.
Equatorial Guinea is party to the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, which prohibits the imposition of a death sentence on mothers of infants and young children. [37]

Mentally Ill.
Mentally “insane” persons, or those suffering from a temporary mental illness, are excused from criminal responsibility. The 1963 Spanish Penal Code stipulates that such offenders shall be placed in an institution for the mentally ill. [38] We do not know how this is applied in modern-day Equatorial Guinea.

References

[1] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Manfred Nowak, Addendum, Mission to the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, p. 7, para. 12, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/13/39/Add.4, Jan. 7, 2010.
[2] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Promotion And Protection Of All Human Rights, Civil, Political, Economic, Social And Cultural Rights, Including The Right To Development, Report of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, Addendum, Mission To Equatorial Guinea (8-13 July 2007), p. 2, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/7/4/Add.3, Feb. 18, 2008.
[3] Spanish Penal Code of 1963, art. 405, Decree 691, Mar. 28, 1963.
[4] Spanish Penal Code of 1963, art. 406, Decree 691, Mar. 28, 1963.
[5] Spanish Penal Code of 1963, art. 501, Decree 691, Mar. 28, 1963.
[6] Spanish Penal Code of 1963, arts. 142, 144, Decree 691, Mar. 28, 1963.
[7] Spanish Penal Code of 1963, art. 120, Decree 691, Mar. 28, 1963.
[8] Spanish Penal Code of 1963, art. 215, Decree 691, Mar. 28, 1963.
[9] Spanish Penal Code of 1963, art. 219, Decree 691, Mar. 28, 1963.
[10] Spanish Code of Military Justice of 1945, arts. 258, 270, Jul. 17, 1945.
[11] Spanish Code of Military Justice of 1945, arts. 272-274, Jul. 17, 1945.
[12] Spanish Code of Military Justice of 1945, art. 375, Jul. 17, 1945.
[13] Spanish Code of Military Justice of 1945, art. 388, Jul. 17, 1945.
[14] Spanish Code of Military Justice of 1945, art. 287, Jul. 17, 1945.
[15] Spanish Code of Military Justice of 1945, art. 295, Jul. 17, 1945.
[16] Spanish Code of Military Justice of 1945, arts. 306-308, Jul. 17, 1945.
[17] Spanish Code of Military Justice of 1945, art. 319, Jul. 17, 1945.
[18] Spanish Code of Military Justice of 1945, art. 327, Jul. 17, 1945.
[19] Spanish Code of Military Justice of 1945, arts. 338, 340, Jul. 17, 1945.
[20] Spanish Code of Military Justice of 1945, art. 279, Jul. 17, 1945.
[21] Spanish Penal Code of 1963, arts. 138, 139, Decree 691, Mar. 28, 1963.
[22] Spanish Code of Military Justice of 1945, art. 258, Jul. 17, 1945.
[23] Spanish Code of Military Justice of 1945, art. 287, Jul. 17, 1945.
[24] Spanish Code of Military Justice of 1945, art. 295, Jul. 17, 1945.
[25] Spanish Code of Military Justice of 1945, art. 306, Jul. 17, 1945.
[26] Spanish Code of Military Justice of 1945, art. 319, Jul. 17, 1945.
[27] Spanish Code of Military Justice of 1945, art. 327, Jul. 17, 1945.
[28] Spanish Code of Military Justice of 1945, art. 338, Jul. 17, 1945.
[29] Roger Hood & Carolyn Hoyle, The Death Penalty: A Worldwide Perspective, p. 82, Oxford University Press, 4th ed., 2008.
[30] Richard Clark, Executions in August 2010, http://www.capitalpunishmentuk.org/aug10.html, last accessed Sep. 28, 2010; La Peine de Mort dans le Monde, Guinée Equatoriale: 4 condamnés à mort pour l'attaque du palais en 2009, http://www.peinedemort.org/document.php?choix=4514, Aug. 22, 2010.
[31] Richard Clark, Executions in August 2010, http://www.capitalpunishmentuk.org/aug10.html, last accessed Sep. 28, 2010; La Peine de Mort dans le Monde, Guinée Equatoriale: 4 condamnés à mort pour l'attaque du palais en 2009, http://www.peinedemort.org/document.php?choix=4514, Aug. 22, 2010.
[32] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-4&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Aug. 19, 2010.
[33] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1577 U.N.T.S. 3, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=UNTSONLINE&tabid=2&mtdsg_no=IV-11&chapter=4&lang=en#Participants , last accessed Oct. 4, 2010.
[34] Amnesty Intl., When the State Kills, p. 132, Amnesty Intl. Publications, 1989; U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Promotion And Protection Of All Human Rights, Civil, Political, Economic, Social And Cultural Rights, Including The Right To Development, Report of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, Addendum, Mission To Equatorial Guinea (8-13 July 2007), p. 11, paras. 43-44, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/7/4/Add.3, Feb. 18, 2008.
[35] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-4&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Aug. 19, 2010.
[36] Amnesty Intl., When the State Kills, p. 132, Amnesty Intl. Publications, 1989.
[37] A.U, List of Countries which have signed, ratified/acceded to the Protocol to The African Charter On The Rights And Welfare Of The Child, Doc. 0003, http://www.africa-union.org/root/au/Documents/Treaties/List/African%20Charter%20on%20the%20Rights%20and%20Welfare%20of%20the%20Child.pdf , Mar. 1, 2010; A.U., African Charter On The Rights And Welfare Of The Child, art. 30,e, A.U. Doc. CAB/LEG/24.9/49, Jul. 11, 1990.
[38] Spanish Penal Code of 1963, art. 8, Decree 691, Mar. 28, 1963, available at http://www.boe.es/datos/pdfs/BOE/1963/084/A05871-05907.pdf.

International Commitments

ICCPR

Party?

Yes. [1]

Date of Accession

Sep. 25, 1987. [2]

Signed?

No. [3]

Date of Signature

Not Applicable.

First Optional Protocol to the ICCPR, Recognizing Jurisdiction of the Human Rights Committee

Party?

Yes. [4]

Date of Accession

Sep. 25, 1987. [5]

Signed?

No. [6]

Date of Signature

Not Applicable.

Second Optional Protocol to the ICCPR, Toward the Abolition of the Death Penalty

Party?

No. [7]

Date of Accession

Not Applicable.

Signed?

No. [8]

Date of Signature

Not Applicable.

American Convention on Human Rights

Party?

Not Applicable.

Date of Accession

Signed?

Not Applicable.

Date of Signature

Death Penalty Protocol to the ACHR

Party?

Not Applicable.

Date of Accession

Signed?

Not Applicable.

Date of Signature

African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights (ACHPR)

Party?

Yes. [9]

Date of Accession

Apr. 7, 1986. [10]

Signed?

Yes. [11]

Date of Signature

Aug. 18, 1986. [12]

Protocol to the ACHPR on the Rights of Women in Africa

Party?

No. [13]

Date of Accession

Not Applicable.

Signed?

Yes. [14]

Date of Signature

Jan. 30, 2005. [15]

African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child

Party?

Yes. [16]

Date of Accession

Dec. 20, 2002. [17]

Signed?

No. [18]

Date of Signature

Not Applicable.

Arab Charter on Human Rights

Party?

Not Applicable.

Date of Accession

Signed?

Not Applicable.

Date of Signature

2016 Record of Votes on the UN General Assembly Moratorium Resolution

Cosponsor

No. [19]

Vote

In Favor. [20]

Signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation

No. [21]

2014 Record of Votes on the UN General Assembly Moratorium Resolution

Cosponsor

No. [22]

Vote

In Favor. [23]

Signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation

No. [24]

2012 Record of Votes on the UN General Assembly Moratorium Resolution

Cosponsor

No. [25]

Vote

Not Present. [26]

Signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation

Yes. [27]

2010 Record of Votes on the UN General Assembly Moratorium Resolution

Cosponsor

No. [28]

Vote

Not Present. [29]

Signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation

Yes. [30]

2008 Record of Votes on the UN General Assembly Moratorium Resolution

Cosponsor

No. [31]

Vote

Not Present. [32]

Signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation

Yes. [33]

2007 Record of Votes on the UN General Assembly Moratorium Resolution

Cosponsor

No. [34]

Vote

Abstained. [35]

Signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation

Yes. [36]

References

[1] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-4&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Aug. 19, 2010.
[2] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-4&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Aug. 19, 2010.
[3] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-4&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Aug. 19, 2010.
[4] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, Optional Prot. to the ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-5&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Aug. 19, 2010.
[5] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, Optional Prot. to the ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-5&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Aug. 19, 2010.
[6] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, Optional Prot. to the ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-5&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Aug. 19, 2010.
[7] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, Second Optional Prot. to the ICCPR, Aiming at the Abolition of the Death Penalty, 1642 U.N.T.S. 414, Dec. 15, 1989, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-12&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Aug. 19, 2010.
[8] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, Second Optional Prot. to the ICCPR, Aiming at the Abolition of the Death Penalty, 1642 U.N.T.S. 414, Dec. 15, 1989, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-12&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Aug. 19, 2010.
[9] African Union, List of countries which have signed, ratified/acceded to the African Charter of Human and People’s Rights, Doc. 0002, http://au.int/en/sites/default/files/African_Charter_on_Human_and_Peoples_Rights.pdf, Aug. 2, 2011.
[10] African Union, List of countries which have signed, ratified/acceded to the African Charter of Human and People’s Rights, Doc. 0002, http://au.int/en/sites/default/files/African_Charter_on_Human_and_Peoples_Rights.pdf, Aug. 2, 2011.
[11] African Union, List of countries which have signed, ratified/acceded to the African Charter of Human and People’s Rights, Doc. 0002, http://au.int/en/sites/default/files/African_Charter_on_Human_and_Peoples_Rights.pdf, Aug. 2, 2011.
[12] African Union, List of countries which have signed, ratified/acceded to the African Charter of Human and People’s Rights, Doc. 0002, http://au.int/en/sites/default/files/African_Charter_on_Human_and_Peoples_Rights.pdf, Aug. 2, 2011.
[13] African Union, List of countries which have signed, ratified/acceded to the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, Doc. 0025, http://www.au.int/en/sites/default/files/999Rights_of_Women.pdf, Feb. 14, 2011.
[14] African Union, List of countries which have signed, ratified/acceded to the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, Doc. 0025, http://www.au.int/en/sites/default/files/999Rights_of_Women.pdf, Feb. 14, 2011.
[15] African Union, List of countries which have signed, ratified/acceded to the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, Doc. 0025, http://www.au.int/en/sites/default/files/999Rights_of_Women.pdf, Feb. 14, 2011.
[16] African Union, Signatories, Accessions, and Ratifications, African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, Doc. 0003, http://www.au.int/en/sites/default/files/96Welfare_of_the_Child.pdf, Jan. 27, 2011.
[17] African Union, Signatories, Accessions, and Ratifications, African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, Doc. 0003, http://www.au.int/en/sites/default/files/96Welfare_of_the_Child.pdf, Jan. 27, 2011.
[18] African Union, Signatories, Accessions, and Ratifications, African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, Doc. 0003, http://www.au.int/en/sites/default/files/96Welfare_of_the_Child.pdf, Jan. 27, 2011.
[19] U.N.G.A., 71st Session, Promotion and protection of human rights: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, paras. 54-71 U.N. Doc. A/71/484/Add.2, Dec. 6, 2016.
[20] U.N.G.A., 71st Session, Promotion and protection of human rights: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, paras. 54-71 U.N. Doc. A/71/484/Add.2, Dec. 6, 2016.
[21] U.N.G.A., 71st Session, Note Verbale dated 7 September 2017, U.N. Doc. A/71/1047, Sep. 13, 2017.
[22] U.N.G.A., 69th Session, Promotion and Protection of Human Rights: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, paras. 141, 144, U.N. Doc. A/69/488/Add.2, Dec. 8, 2014.
[23] U.N.G.A., 69th Session, 73rd Plenary Meeting, pp. 17-18, U.N. Doc. A/69/PV.73, Dec. 18, 2014.
[24] U.N.G.A., 69th Session, Note Verbale dated 28 July 2015, U.N. Doc. A/69/993, Jul. 29, 2015.
[25] U.N.G.A., 67th Session, Promotion and Protection of Human Rights: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, paras. 95-96, U.N. Doc. A/67/457/Add.2, Dec. 8, 2012.
[26] U.N.G.A., 67th Session, 60th Plenary Meeting, pp. 16-17, U.N. Doc. A/67/PV.60, Dec. 20, 2012.
[27] U.N.G.A., 67th Session, Note Verbale dated 16 April 2013, U.N. Doc. A/67/841, Apr. 23, 2013.
[28] U.N.G.A., 65th Session, Promotion and Protection of Human Rights: human rights questions, includng alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, p. 5, U.N. Doc. A/65/456/Add.2, Dec. 8, 2010.
[29] U.N.G.A., 65th Session, 71st Plenary Meeting, pp. 18-19, U.N. Doc. A/65/PV.71, Dec. 21, 2010.
[30] U.N.G.A., 65th Session, Note Verbale dated 11 March 2011, U.N. Doc. A/65/779, Mar. 11, 2011.
[31] U.N.G.A., 63rd session, Promotion and Protection of Human Rights: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, U.N. Doc. A/63/430/Add.2, Dec. 4, 2008.
[32] U.N.G.A., 63rd Session, 70th Plenary Meeting, pp. 16- 17, U.N. Doc. A/63/PV.70, Dec. 18, 2008.
[33] U.N.G.A., 63rd Session, Note Verbale dated 10 February 2009, U.N. Doc. A/63/716, Feb. 12, 2009.
[34] U.N.G.A., 62nd Session, Promotion and Protection of Human Rights: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, U.N. Doc. A/62/439/Add.2, Dec. 5, 2007.
[35] U.N.G.A., 62nd Session, 76th Plenary Meeting, pp. 16- 17, U.N. Doc. A/62/PV.76, Dec. 18, 2007.
[36] U.N.G.A., 62nd Session, Note Verbale dated 11 January 2008, U.N. Doc. A/62/658, Feb. 2, 2008.

Death Penalty In Law

Does the country’s constitution make reference to capital punishment?

Yes. Under Article 13 (a), capital punishment shall be imposed only for crimes established by the law. [1]

Does the country’s constitution make reference to international law?

Yes. Under Article 8, the State respects international law principles and reaffirms its adherence to the rights and obligations that emanate from the International Organisms and Organizations Charters to which its belongs. [2]

Have there been any significant changes in the application of the death penalty over the last several years?

As of October 2010, we could not identify any significant change in the application of the death penalty in Equatorial Guinea over the last several years. There is no indication that Equatorial Guinea will be ready to move towards a moratorium any time soon. It signed the last note verbale of dissociation regarding the 2008 and 2010 U.N. moratorium resolutions. [3] Also, the Equatoguinean authorities mentioned in their September 2009 report to the Human Rights Council that “the attempts at destabilization to which Equatorial Guinea was subjected have affected in some degree the normal functioning of public institutions and created a climate of tension that diminishes the Government’s enthusiasm for implementing human rights.” [4]

Is there currently an official moratorium on executions within the country?

No. [5]

Have there been any significant published cases concerning the death penalty in national courts?

As of October 2010, we found no significant published case concerning the death penalty in Equatorial Guinea. The U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention reports that there is no service of judgments before the military courts and that convicted persons cannot thus obtain a copy of the decision. “Some persons have only learned of their sentences from State radio.” [6]

Where can one locate or access judicial decisions regarding the death penalty?

The U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention reports that there is no service of judgments before the military courts and that convicted persons cannot thus obtain a copy of the decision. “Some persons have only learned of their sentences from State radio.” [7]

What is the clemency process?

Under Article 39(k) of the Constitution, the President can grant clemency. [8] During its review by the Working Group on Universal Periodic Review in 2009, the Equatoguinean delegation mentioned that “many of those condemned to capital punishment have been reprieved or had their sentences commuted” but it did not give specific information as to the number or the years. [9]

Clemency is also available to individuals convicted of at least some military offenses. [10]

Are jury trials provided for defendants charged with capital offenses?

As of March 2011, we could not locate the Act No. 3/1984 of 20 June 1984 on the jurisdiction of courts and judges, amended by the new Judiciary Act No. 5/2009 of 18 May 2009, but according to the U.S. Department of State, juries are “seldom used.” [11]

Brief Description of Appellate Process

As of March 2011, we could not locate the Act No. 3/1984 of 20 June 1984 on the jurisdiction of courts and judges, amended by the new Judiciary Act No. 5/2009 of 18 May 2009. It is reported that new procedures will need to be gradually adopted; [12] this might thus affect the following.

Capital cases are generally tried by the criminal division of the territorial High Courts [13] and the Military Courts. [14] Sentences are appealable on points of law to the Supreme Court. [15] However, the U.S. Department of State reports that “legal appeals [are] not common due to lack of adequate legal representation and ignorance of constitutional rights.” [16]

Under the 1945 Spanish Code of Military Justice, still in force in Equatorial Guinea, military tribunals have in some cases jurisdiction over both civilian and military defendants. Under this Code, “summary trials are conducted, due process is limited (trials are often held in absentia or without proper legal defense)” and there was until recently no possibility of appeal. [17] The possibility to appeal against a judgment by the military courts has been introduced by the Judiciary Act No. 5/2009 and Equatorial Guinea reports that the first such appeal was pending before the Supreme Court as of September 2009. [18] However, the four men executed in August 2010 had been sentenced to death by a military court the same day and were thus not given the opportunity to appeal their sentence or seek pardon. [19]

Prisoners may also submit writs of habeas corpus. “Persons who consider that they are being unjustly detained must have access to a judge (…). The judge must rule without delay whether the detention is legal.” Article 3 of the Act No. 18/1995 of 11 October 1995 lists the cases in which it must be considered that the detention is illegal. [20] However, it was recently reported that habeas corpus guarantees were ineffective. [21]

The constitutional appeal for amparo is governed by Organization Act No. 2/93, under which individual rights and freedoms may receive direct protection where they are infringed as the result of the implementation of a law by a public authority, the exercise of power or activities carried out by State authorities or powers. [22]

References

[1] The Constitution of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, art. 13 (a), as amended by Constitutional Law No. 1/1995, Jan. 17, 1995.
[2] The Constitution of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, art. 8, as amended by Constitutional Law No. 1/1995, Jan. 17, 1995.
[3] U.N.G.A., 63rd Session, Note Verbale dated 10 February 2009, U.N. Doc. A/63/716, Feb. 12, 2009.
[4] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, National report submitted in accordance with paragraph 15 (a) of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 5/1, Equatorial Guinea, p. 16, para. 50, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/WG.6/6/GNQ/1, Sep. 18, 2009.
[5] Richard Clark, Executions in August 2010, http://www.capitalpunishmentuk.org/aug10.html, last accessed Sep. 28, 2010.
[6] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Promotion And Protection Of All Human Rights, Civil, Political, Economic, Social And Cultural Rights, Including The Right To Development, Report of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, Addendum, Mission To Equatorial Guinea (8-13 July 2007), p. 15, para. 68, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/7/4/Add.3, Feb. 18, 2008.
[7] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Promotion And Protection Of All Human Rights, Civil, Political, Economic, Social And Cultural Rights, Including The Right To Development, Report of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, Addendum, Mission To Equatorial Guinea (8-13 July 2007), p. 15, para. 68, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/7/4/Add.3, Feb. 18, 2008.
[8] The Constitution of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, art. 39 (k), as amended by Constitutional Law No. 1/1995, Jan. 17, 1995.
[9] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review, Equatorial Guinea, p. 12, para. 66, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/13/16, Jan. 4, 2010.
[10] Spanish Code of Military Justice of 1945, arts. 231, 989, Jul. 17, 1945.
[11] U.S. Dept. of State, 2009 Human Rights Report: Equatorial Guinea, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/af/135951.htm, Mar. 11, 2010.
[12] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, National report submitted in accordance with paragraph 15 (a) of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 5/1, Equatorial Guinea, p. 13, para. 37, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/WG.6/6/GNQ/1, Sep. 18, 2009.
[13] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Promotion And Protection Of All Human Rights, Civil, Political, Economic, Social And Cultural Rights, Including The Right To Development, Report of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, Addendum, Mission To Equatorial Guinea (8-13 July 2007), p. 10, para. 39, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/7/4/Add.3, Feb. 18, 2008.
[14] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, National report submitted in accordance with paragraph 15 (a) of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 5/1, Equatorial Guinea, p. 12, para. 34, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/WG.6/6/GNQ/1, Sep. 18, 2009; Amnesty Intl., Execution of four men in Equatorial Guinea condemned, http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/execution-four-men-equatorial-guinea-condemned-2010-08-23, Aug. 23, 2010; Amnesty Intl., Urgent Action, Four Abducted Refugees Executed, AFR 24/012/2010, Aug. 24, 2010.
[15] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Promotion And Protection Of All Human Rights, Civil, Political, Economic, Social And Cultural Rights, Including The Right To Development, Report of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, Addendum, Mission To Equatorial Guinea (8-13 July 2007), p. 11, para. 40, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/7/4/Add.3, Feb. 18, 2008; U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, National report submitted in accordance with paragraph 15 (a) of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 5/1, Equatorial Guinea, p. 12, para. 34, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/WG.6/6/GNQ/1, Sep. 18, 2009; U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Promotion And Protection Of All Human Rights, Civil, Political, Economic, Social And Cultural Rights, Including The Right To Development, Report of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, Addendum, Mission To Equatorial Guinea (8-13 July 2007), p. 7, para. 16, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/7/4/Add.3, Feb. 18, 2008.
[16] U.S. Dept. of State, 2009 Human Rights Report: Equatorial Guinea, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/af/135951.htm, Mar. 11, 2010.
[17] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Manfred Nowak, Addendum, Mission to the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, p. 9, para. 22, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/13/39/Add.4, Jan. 7, 2010. See also U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Promotion And Protection Of All Human Rights, Civil, Political, Economic, Social And Cultural Rights, Including The Right To Development, Report of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, Addendum, Mission To Equatorial Guinea (8-13 July 2007), p. 7, paras. 19-20, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/7/4/Add.3, Feb. 18, 2008.
[18] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, National report submitted in accordance with paragraph 15 (a) of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 5/1, Equatorial Guinea, p. 12, para. 34, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/WG.6/6/GNQ/1, Sep. 18, 2009.
[19] Amnesty Intl., Execution of four men in Equatorial Guinea condemned, http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/execution-four-men-equatorial-guinea-condemned-2010-08-23, Aug. 23, 2010; Amnesty Intl., Urgent Action, Four Abducted Refugees Executed, AFR 24/012/2010, Aug. 24, 2010.
[20] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Promotion And Protection Of All Human Rights, Civil, Political, Economic, Social And Cultural Rights, Including The Right To Development, Report of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, Addendum, Mission To Equatorial Guinea (8-13 July 2007), p.9, paras. 32-33, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/7/4/Add.3, Feb. 18, 2008.
[21] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review, Equatorial Guinea, p. 5, para. 19, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/13/16, Jan. 4, 2010.
[22] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, National report submitted in accordance with paragraph 15 (a) of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 5/1, Equatorial Guinea, p. 12, para. 34, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/WG.6/6/GNQ/1, Sep. 18, 2009.

Death Penalty In Practice

Where Are Death-Sentenced Prisoners incarcerated?

Prisons are built inside military compounds. “This results in countless difficulties, particularly with regard to access to prisoners. Families wishing to visit a prisoner must first apply to the military authorities for access to the military camp.” [1] During his visit at Bata Prison in November 2008, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on torture was told that the only prisoner listed “as on death row” was not under a special regime. [2]

Description of Prison Conditions

Two of the country’s prisons have been recently rehabilitated, “for the most part resulting in sufficient space for the detainees and an acceptable level of hygiene in the sanitary facilities,” but older prisons facilities “do not meet the necessary minimum conditions of habitability,” [3] neither do the cells in the police stations. [4] In all the prisons, food is lacking in quantity and quality. Also, “in the majority of cases, even serious illnesses [remain] untreated.” [5]

The Special Rapporteur on torture expressed the view that “the hygienic conditions and lack of toilets and of other sanitary facilities in almost all police detention cells, as well as severe restrictions on food supply, access to sanitary facilities, medical treatment and medicine show a complete disregard for the dignity of detainees.” [6]

Violence among prisoners and sexual violence and harassment of women and minors was reported as common. [7] Children are held with adults [8] and women with men. The Special Rapporteur on torture received “consistent allegations of sexual violence and harassment against foreign women in prisons and police custody” [9] and “several allegations of harassment and sexual violence of minors.” [10]

Incommunicado detention for long periods has been reported with some frequency. [11] According to Amnesty International, all prisoners were held incommunicado between December 2007 and December 2009 because the authorities suspended all prison visits, even visits from lawyers. [12]

In its 2009 submission to the U.N. Universal Periodic Review, Amnesty International reports that some political prisoners were permanently handcuffed and shackled during pre-trial detention [13] and that it “continues to receive reports of torture or other ill-treatment, primarily of suspected criminals, in police stations.” Torture is used to obtain confessions later produced as evidence in court and as punishment. [14]

Corporal punishments are routinely applied in prisons [15] and torture is “systematically used by the police forces against persons who refuse to ‘cooperate’ – persons suspected of political crimes as well as suspects of common crimes.” [16]

Are there any known foreign nationals currently under sentence of death?

As of October 2010, we were not able to identify foreign nationals on death row.

What are the nationalities of the known foreign nationals on death row?

As of October 2010, we were not able to identify foreign nationals on death row.

Are there any known women currently under sentence of death?

As of October 2010, we were not able to identify any woman on death row.

Are there any reports of individuals currently under sentence of death who may have been under the age of 18 at the time the crime was committed?

As of October 2010, we did not uncover any reports of juvenile offenders on death row.

Comments regarding the racial/ethnic composition on death row

As of October 2010, we found no information regarding the racial/ethnic composition on death row. It should still be noted that the U.N. Special Rapporteur on torture “received reports about discriminatory practices against foreigners and sometimes against the minority Bubi ethnic group by other detainees and by the prison staff.” [17] Endemic corruption also results in the poor being discriminated against. [18]

Are there lawyers available for indigent defendants facing capital trials?

While Article 13 of the Constitution guarantees the right of defense at all stages of the proceedings, [19] “the Criminal Procedure Act provides that the presence of a lawyer is required only during the oral proceedings” and that a lawyer will be provided by the court to the accused person who does not have one only “once the Public Prosecutor’s Office has made the case for the prosecution.” Legal aid is not organized by law and is “provided in practice through the official appointment of defense lawyers by bar associations.” [20]

The U.S Department of State reports that “an accused person who cannot afford a lawyer is entitled to ask the government to provide one, but only if the accused is summoned to appear in court, and defendants [are] not routinely advised of this right. The country's bar association [is] available to defend indigent defendants; however, there [remains] a serious shortage of lawyers, and there [continues] to be no effective system of court-appointed representation.” [21]

Moreover, the U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention observed in 2008 that “lawyers in criminal proceedings do not provide a genuine and effective defense. Recruiting the services of a lawyer is possible only for those with sufficient economic resources, as there is no effective system of court-appointed representation for all the detainees who require such representation. Furthermore, there is a real lack of lawyers in the country (…). Many lawyers are also public officials or engage in other remunerated activities. (…) The lack of available lawyers to take on court-appointed defense cases tends to delay the start of trials.” The Working Group also reported that lawyers face “serious difficulties” in defending their clients. They have no access to police stations and no contact with their clients while they are detained there. [22]

In September 2009, Equatorial Guinea announced that “a financial grant [had] been made to the Bar Association under the General State Budget so that free legal assistance may be provided.” [23]

Are there lawyers available for indigent prisoners on appeal?

While Article 13 of the Constitution guarantees the right of defense at all stages of the proceedings, [24] “the Criminal Procedure Act provides that the presence of a lawyer is required only during the oral proceedings” and that a lawyer will be provided by the court to the accused person who does not have one only “once the Public Prosecutor’s Office has made the case for the prosecution.” Legal aid is not organized by law and is “provided in practice through the official appointment of defense lawyers by bar associations.” [25]

The U.S Department of State reports that “an accused person who cannot afford a lawyer is entitled to ask the government to provide one, but only if the accused is summoned to appear in court, and defendants [are] not routinely advised of this right. The country's bar association [is] available to defend indigent defendants; however, there [remains] a serious shortage of lawyers, and there [continues] to be no effective system of court-appointed representation.” [26]

Moreover, the U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention observed in 2008 that “lawyers in criminal proceedings do not provide a genuine and effective defense. Recruiting the services of a lawyer is possible only for those with sufficient economic resources, as there is no effective system of court-appointed representation for all the detainees who require such representation. Furthermore, there is a real lack of lawyers in the country (…). Many lawyers are also public officials or engage in other remunerated activities. (…) The lack of available lawyers to take on court-appointed defense cases tends to delay the start of trials.” The Working Group also reported that lawyers face “serious difficulties” in defending their clients. They have no access to police stations and no contact with their clients while they are detained there. [27]

In September 2009, Equatorial Guinea announced that “a financial grant [had] been made to the Bar Association under the General State Budget so that free legal assistance may be provided.” [28]

Comments on Quality of Legal Representation

The U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention observed in 2008 that “lawyers in criminal proceedings do not provide a genuine and effective defense. (…) Furthermore, there is a real lack of lawyers in the country (…). Many lawyers are also public officials or engage in other remunerated activities. (…) The lack of available lawyers to take on court-appointed defense cases tends to delay the start of trials.” Lawyers face “serious difficulties” in defending their clients. They have no access to police stations and no contact with their clients while they are detained there. [29] The Working Group also reported that accused tried by military courts who are not able to meet the costs of their defense must use the services of officially appointed lawyers, “most of whom are army officials and do not provide an effective defense. Judges and defenders in military courts are not lawyers or jurists, but military officials with no legal training.” [30]

Amnesty International reports that “defendants seldom have access to lawyers until a few days before their trial, which seriously limits the ability of their lawyers to prepare an adequate defense.” [31]

Only very few of the detainees interviewed by the Special Rapporteur on torture during his visit in November 2008 had lawyers and “if they did, they generally did not trust them.” [32]

A 2003 report indicates that “members of the judiciary and lawyers receive no training in human rights norms and standards” and that “they have little access to, or knowledge of, legislative texts.” [33]

Other Comments on Criminal Justice System

In August 2010, U.N. independent experts expressed serious concern regarding the lack of transparency of a trial that led to the execution of four men. U.N. officials had repeatedly requested to visit the four men a few days before their execution, without success. They pointed to “severe shortcomings in the implementation of international human rights standards in the administration of justice by the Government of Equatorial Guinea.” [34] Reports indicate that the four men had been tortured to make them confess and were not present in court when their sentences were delivered. They were executed the same day and thus denied the right to appeal or to seek pardon. [35]

The 1945 Spanish Code of Military Justice allows for summary trials to be conducted. [36] As of April 2009, about 30 political prisoners were serving long sentences “after being convicted in unfair trials of plotting against or attempting to overthrow the government”. They were held incommunicado while in pre-trial detention, some of them “permanently handcuffed and shackled during that time.” [37]

During its 2007 visit, the U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention witnessed numerous cases of torture scares or bruises and people being shackled. [38] “Torture and other ill-treatment, deaths in custody, unfair trials, arbitrary arrest and incommunicado detentions are still common practices. The situation is exacerbated by the lack of training of and accountability mechanisms for the security forces and the fact that impunity is virtually guaranteed for those who commit these violations. A very weak judicial system, which lacks independence, is also a contributing factor in perpetuating impunity.” [39]

Corruption is common at all stages of the criminal justice system. “As a result of the endemic corruption, the criminal justice system discriminates against the poor and the arbitrariness of the system is exacerbated.” The U.N. Special Rapporteur on torture expressed the view that “the widespread corruption in the administration of justice is a consequence of a generally non-functional and non-independent judicial system.” [40]

References

[1] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Promotion And Protection Of All Human Rights, Civil, Political, Economic, Social And Cultural Rights, Including The Right To Development, Report of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, Addendum, Mission To Equatorial Guinea (8-13 July 2007), p. 15, para. 66, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/7/4/Add.3, Feb. 18, 2008.
[2] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Manfred Nowak, Addendum, Mission to the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, p. 33, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/13/39/Add.4, Jan. 7, 2010.
[3] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Promotion And Protection Of All Human Rights, Civil, Political, Economic, Social And Cultural Rights, Including The Right To Development, Report of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, Addendum, Mission To Equatorial Guinea (8-13 July 2007), p. 18, para. 87, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/7/4/Add.3, Feb. 18, 2008.
[4] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Promotion And Protection Of All Human Rights, Civil, Political, Economic, Social And Cultural Rights, Including The Right To Development, Report of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, Addendum, Mission To Equatorial Guinea (8-13 July 2007), p. 18, para. 88, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/7/4/Add.3, Feb. 18, 2008.
[5] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Manfred Nowak, Addendum, Mission to the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, p. 9, para. 24, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/13/39/Add.4, Jan. 7, 2010.
[6] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Manfred Nowak, Addendum, Mission to the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, p. 11, para. 31, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/13/39/Add.4, Jan. 7, 2010.
[7] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Manfred Nowak, Addendum, Mission to the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, p. 10, para. 25, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/13/39/Add.4, Jan. 7, 2010.
[8] Amnesty Intl., Amnesty International’s reaction to the report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment on his visit to Equatorial Guinea, AFR 24/002/2010, Feb. 24, 2010.
[9] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Manfred Nowak, Addendum, Mission to the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, p. 14, para. 44, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/13/39/Add.4, Jan. 7, 2010.
[10] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Manfred Nowak, Addendum, Mission to the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, p. 14, para. 46, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/13/39/Add.4, Jan. 7, 2010.
[11] Amnesty Intl., Equatorial Guinea, Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review, Sixth session of the UPR Working Group of the Human Rights Council, November-December 2009, p. 5, AFR 24/002/2009, Apr. 13, 2009.
[12] Amnesty Intl., Human Rights in Republic of Equatorial Guinea, Report 2009, http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/equatorial-guinea/report-2009, last accessed Sep. 29, 2010; Amnesty Intl., Amnesty International’s reaction to the report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment on his visit to Equatorial Guinea, AFR 24/002/2010, Feb. 24, 2010.
[13] Amnesty Intl., Equatorial Guinea, Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review, Sixth session of the UPR Working Group of the Human Rights Council, November-December 2009, p. 5, AFR 24/002/2009, Apr. 13, 2009.
[14] Amnesty Intl., Equatorial Guinea, Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review, Sixth session of the UPR Working Group of the Human Rights Council, November-December 2009, p. 6, AFR 24/002/2009, Apr. 13, 2009.
[15] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Manfred Nowak, Addendum, Mission to the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, p. 12, para. 36, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/13/39/Add.4, Jan. 7, 2010.
[16] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Manfred Nowak, Addendum, Mission to the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, p. 12, para. 38, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/13/39/Add.4, Jan. 7, 2010.
[17] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Manfred Nowak, Addendum, Mission to the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, p. 10, para. 25, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/13/39/Add.4, Jan. 7, 2010.
[18] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Manfred Nowak, Addendum, Mission to the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, p. 18, para. 63, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/13/39/Add.4, Jan. 7, 2010.
[19] The Constitution of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, art. 13, as amended by Constitutional Law No. 1/1995, Jan. 17, 1995.
[20] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Promotion And Protection Of All Human Rights, Civil, Political, Economic, Social And Cultural Rights, Including The Right To Development, Report of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, Addendum, Mission To Equatorial Guinea (8-13 July 2007), p. 11, para. 41-42, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/7/4/Add.3, Feb. 18, 2008.
[21] U.S. Dept. of State, 2009 Human Rights Report: Equatorial Guinea, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/af/135951.htm, Mar. 11, 2010.
[22] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Promotion And Protection Of All Human Rights, Civil, Political, Economic, Social And Cultural Rights, Including The Right To Development, Report of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, Addendum, Mission To Equatorial Guinea (8-13 July 2007), p. 16, paras. 73-74, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/7/4/Add.3, Feb. 18, 2008.
[23] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, National report submitted in accordance with paragraph 15 (a) of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 5/1, Equatorial Guinea, p. 15, para. 44, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/WG.6/6/GNQ/1, Sep. 18, 2009.
[24] The Constitution of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, art. 13, as amended by Constitutional Law No. 1/1995, Jan. 17, 1995.
[25] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Promotion And Protection Of All Human Rights, Civil, Political, Economic, Social And Cultural Rights, Including The Right To Development, Report of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, Addendum, Mission To Equatorial Guinea (8-13 July 2007), p. 11, para. 41-42, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/7/4/Add.3, Feb. 18, 2008.
[26] U.S. Dept. of State, 2009 Human Rights Report: Equatorial Guinea, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/af/135951.htm, Mar. 11, 2010.
[27] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Promotion And Protection Of All Human Rights, Civil, Political, Economic, Social And Cultural Rights, Including The Right To Development, Report of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, Addendum, Mission To Equatorial Guinea (8-13 July 2007), p. 16, paras. 73-74, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/7/4/Add.3, Feb. 18, 2008.
[28] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, National report submitted in accordance with paragraph 15 (a) of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 5/1, Equatorial Guinea, p. 15, para. 44, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/WG.6/6/GNQ/1, Sep. 18, 2009.
[29] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Promotion And Protection Of All Human Rights, Civil, Political, Economic, Social And Cultural Rights, Including The Right To Development, Report of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, Addendum, Mission To Equatorial Guinea (8-13 July 2007), p. 16, paras. 73-74, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/7/4/Add.3, Feb. 18, 2008.
[30] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Promotion And Protection Of All Human Rights, Civil, Political, Economic, Social And Cultural Rights, Including The Right To Development, Report of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, Addendum, Mission To Equatorial Guinea (8-13 July 2007), p. 15, para. 68, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/7/4/Add.3, Feb. 18, 2008.
[31] Amnesty Intl., Equatorial Guinea, Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review, Sixth session of the UPR Working Group of the Human Rights Council, November-December 2009, p. 7, AFR 24/002/2009, Apr. 13, 2009.
[32] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Manfred Nowak, Addendum, Mission to the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, p. 16, para. 55, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/13/39/Add.4, Jan. 7, 2010.
[33] U.N. ECOSOC Commission on Human Rights, Civil And Political Rights, Including The Question Of Freedom Of Expression, Report submitted by Mr. Ambeyi Ligabo, Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of opinion and expression, in accordance with Commission on Human Rights resolution 2002/48, Addendum, Mission To Equatorial Guinea, p. 12, para. 43, U.N. Doc. E/CN.4/2003/67/Add.2, Jan. 9, 2003.
[34] UN Independent Experts Express Serious Concern At The Execution Of Four Men After Concluding Its Mission To Equatorial Guinea, UNOG, http://www.unog.ch/unog/website/news_media.nsf/(httpNewsByYear_en)/F8ADDC08F67B5790C125778F00308294?OpenDocument#, Aug. 30, 2010.
[35] Amnesty Intl., Urgent Action, Four Abducted Refugees Executed, AFR 24/012/2010, Aug. 24, 2010.
[36] Spanish Code of Military Justice of 1945, art. 918, Jul. 17, 1945, available at http://www.boe.es/datos/pdfs/BOE/1945/201/R00472-00936.pdf; U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Manfred Nowak, Addendum, Mission to the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, p. 9, para. 22, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/13/39/Add.4, Jan. 7, 2010.
[37] Amnesty Intl., Equatorial Guinea, Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review, Sixth session of the UPR Working Group of the Human Rights Council, November-December 2009, p. 5, AFR 24/002/2009, Apr. 13, 2009.
[38] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Promotion And Protection Of All Human Rights, Civil, Political, Economic, Social And Cultural Rights, Including The Right To Development, Report of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, Addendum, Mission To Equatorial Guinea (8-13 July 2007), U.N. Doc. A/HRC/7/4/Add.3, Feb. 18, 2008.
[39] Amnesty Intl., Equatorial Guinea, Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review, Sixth session of the UPR Working Group of the Human Rights Council, November-December 2009, p. 3, AFR 24/002/2009, Apr. 13, 2009; Amnesty Intl., Human Rights in Republic of Equatorial Guinea, Report 2009, http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/equatorial-guinea/report-2009, last accessed Sep. 29, 2010.
[40] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Manfred Nowak, Addendum, Mission to the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, p. 18, para. 63, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/13/39/Add.4, Jan. 7, 2010.

Decisions of International Human Rights Bodies

Decisions of Human Rights Committee

Equatorial Guinea has never submitted any report to the Human Rights Committee, in violation of its reporting obligations. [1]

In its 2004 Concluding Observations, the Human Rights Committee welcomed “the commutation of 15 death sentences handed down in 1998” but expressed its concern at the fact that the death penalty remained in force. The Committee encouraged Equatorial Guinea to abolish the death penalty. [2]

Decisions of Other Human Rights Bodies

In a February 2008 report, the U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention made the following recommendations:
- to put an end to the practice of secret detentions;
to resolve the situation of the deprivation of liberty of individuals detained for simply exercising a right recognized by international human rights law (freedom of opinion and expression, right of assembly, right of association and political participation); [3]
- to revise the national criminal law framework;
to establish an independent judiciary;
to bring the legal framework for the organization, functioning and jurisdiction of military courts into line with international principles and standards;
to guarantee lawyers free access to police stations and prisons;
- to ensure the provision of sufficient and adequate food, medical care, sanitation facilities and minimum conditions of habitability for persons detained in prisons and police stations; and
- to establish a modern juvenile justice system and to prohibit the presence of minors in prisons and detention centers alongside adults. [4]

Equatorial Guinea’s review by the U.N. Working Group on Universal Periodic Review took place in 2009. Equatorial Guinea supported the following recommendations:
- to improve conditions of detention and to bring an end to arbitrary arrests and detentions and the practice of secret detention; [5]
- to end the torture and other mistreatment of detainees; to guarantee lawyers free access to police stations and prisons; to disallow any confessions obtained through the use of torture; [6] and
- to establish an independent judiciary. [7]

Equatorial Guinea has still to examine the following recommendations: to ratify the Second Optional Protocol to the ICCPR and to abolish the death penalty, if necessary by initially establishing a moratorium on executions. [8]

References

[1] U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Equatorial Guinea, Reporting Status, http://www.unhchr.ch/tbs/doc.nsf/NewhvVAllSPRByCountry?OpenView&Start=1&Count=250&Expand=56.2#56.2, last accessed Oct. 5, 2010; U.N. ICCPR Human Rights Committee, Consideration Of Reports Submitted By States Parties Under Article 40 Of The Covenant, Concluding observations on the situation of civil and political rights in Equatorial Guinea, p. 1, para. 2, U.N. Doc. CCPR/CO/79/GNQ, Aug. 13, 2004.
[2] U.N. ICCPR Human Rights Committee, Consideration Of Reports Submitted By States Parties Under Article 40 Of The Covenant, Concluding observations on the situation of civil and political rights in Equatorial Guinea, p. 2, para. 4, U.N. Doc. CCPR/CO/79/GNQ, Aug. 13, 2004.
[3] See for instance U.N. ECOSOC Commission on Human Rights, Civil And Political Rights, Including The Question Of Torture And Detention, Report of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, Addendum, Opinions adopted by the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, p. 89 and following pages, U.N. Doc. E/CN.4/2000/4/Add.1, Dec. 17, 1999.
[4] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Promotion And Protection Of All Human Rights, Civil, Political, Economic, Social And Cultural Rights, Including The Right To Development, Report of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, Addendum, Mission To Equatorial Guinea (8-13 July 2007), pp. 21-22, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/7/4/Add.3, Feb. 18, 2008.
[5] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review, Equatorial Guinea, p. 14, paras. 70.28-30, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/13/16, Jan. 4, 2010; U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review, Equatorial Guinea, p. 14, paras. 70.31-33, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/13/16, Jan. 4, 2010.
[6] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review, Equatorial Guinea, p. 14, para. 70.34, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/13/16, Jan. 4, 2010.
[7] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review, Equatorial Guinea, p. 15, paras. 70.48-49, p. 16, para. 50, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/13/16, Jan. 4, 2010.
[8] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review, Equatorial Guinea, p. 18, para. 71.2, p. 19, paras. 71.16-22, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/13/16, Jan. 4, 2010.

Additional Sources and Contacts

Direct member(s) of World Coalition Against the Death Penalty

None.

Other non-governmental organizations and individuals engaged in advocacy surrounding the death penalty

None.

Helpful Reports and Publications

U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Manfred Nowak, Addendum, Mission to the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/13/39/Add.4, Jan. 7, 2010.

U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Promotion And Protection Of All Human Rights, Civil, Political, Economic, Social And Cultural Rights, Including The Right To Development, Report of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, Addendum, Mission To Equatorial Guinea (8-13 July 2007), U.N. Doc. A/HRC/7/4/Add.3, Feb. 18, 2008.

Human Rights Watch, Well Oiled, Oil and Human Rights in Equatorial Guinea, http://www.hrw.org/en/reports/2009/07/09/well-oiled-0, Jul. 9, 2009.

Additional notes regarding this country

Many of the Equatoguinean laws and decrees that are now in force date prior to its independence, “without any thorough assessment having been made to determine whether they are compatible with the current Constitution and the laws adopted since 1995.” [1] The Penal Code, Criminal Procedure Act and Code of Military Justice dating back to the Franco dictatorship “contain principles and standards incompatible with the 1995 Constitution and international instruments.” [2] The Penal Code we used in our research is the Spanish Penal Code as published in 1963. We do not know if provisions related to the death penalty have been amended between 1963 and 1968, when the country gained independence.

References

[1] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Manfred Nowak, Addendum, Mission to the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, p. 7, para. 12, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/13/39/Add.4, Jan. 7, 2010.
[2] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Promotion And Protection Of All Human Rights, Civil, Political, Economic, Social And Cultural Rights, Including The Right To Development, Report of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, Addendum, Mission To Equatorial Guinea (8-13 July 2007), p. 2, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/7/4/Add.3, Feb. 18, 2008.

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