Equatorial Guinea has abolished the death penaltyaccording to a new penal code signed by the veteran President Teodoro Obiang, which joins a growing list of African countries seeking to extinguish a vestige of colonial rule. The producing country Petroleum of West Africa of 1.4 million inhabitants is no stranger to political violence.
Campaign groups have accused the government of torture, arbitrary arrests and sham trials during Obiang’s 43 years in power. Yet the world’s longest-serving president appears willing to move in with other African countries that have ended the practice. The last execution took place eight years ago, according to International Amnesty.
The new criminal law is dated August 17, but was officially published over the weekend. It will go into effect in 90 days. Obiang’s son, the vice president Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, called the abolition “historic and memorable”. “I write it in capital letters to seal this unique moment,” he tweeted Monday. “EQUATORIAL GUINEA HAS ABOLISHED THE DEATH PENALTY,” he added.
Capital punishment, adopted in some places during colonial rule, remains legal in just over 30 African countries. But more than 20 of them have not carried out executions for at least 10 years, according to data provider Statista. Last year, the parliament of Sierra Leone voted unanimously in favor of abolishing the death penalty, Reuters reported.
In the last two years, both malawi What Chad They declared it unconstitutional. Globally, some 170 countries have abolished or introduced moratoria against the death penalty, according to the UN. The new law of Equatorial Guinea reinforces “the global trend towards universal abolition” and contributes “to the improvement and development of human rights,” said the Acting UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Nada Al Nashif.