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3 Dec 2018

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Equatorial Guinea: Int'l civil society orgs. call on oil cos. to denounce attack on human rights defender

"News: Civil society leader and leading human rights activist attacked in Equatorial Guinea", 5 Nov 2018

Plain-clothed security officers in Equatorial Guinea have reportedly severely beaten and stabbed Alfredo Okenve, a leading civil society activist and Vice-president of the Center for Development Studies and Initiatives (CEID). Okenve said the men forced him out of his car at gunpoint on 27 October and carried out a prolonged attack, before abandoning him on deserted land. [I]nternational organisations...strongly condemn[ed] this brutal assault... Equatorial Guinea’s government has not responded to requests for comment on the allegations... Equatorial Guinea has twice attempted to join the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI)... These applications... were both rejected due to unjustified crackdowns on civil society activists,... The country is applying for a third time to join the EITI this year, as a precondition for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to consider giving the government a loan. We urge the EITI to consider this new application only if the government of Equatorial Guinea addresses civic space issues seriously and consistently, and brings those responsible for the recent attack on Alfredo Okenve to justice. We also call for oil companies operating in Equatorial Guinea – especially on the EITI Board – and other EITI-supporting companies to immediately denounce this attack as unfit for a country wishing to rejoin the initiative.