Equatorial Guinea dissident, Julio Obama dies in prison


A prominent dissident in Equatorial Guinea, Julio Obama Mefuman has died in prison after being taken from South Sudan in a suspected kidnapping and handed a 60-year jail sentence.

Julio, 51, who also had Spanish nationality, “died in Oveng Azem prison” in the eastern city of Mongomo, the MLGE3R movement said late Sunday.

The MLGE3R group’s name stands for the Movement for the Liberation of the Third Equatorial Guinea and is based in Spain, the central African state’s former colony.

Equatorial Guinea Foreign Minister, Simeon Oyono Esono Angue confirmed in a tweet on Monday that Obama Mefuman “died in a Mongomo hospital following illness,” but denied any accusation of torture.

Andres Esono Ondo, head of Equatorial Guinea’s only authorised opposition party, the Convergence for Social Democracy, published a tweet in which he condemned “Julio Obama’s death in prison.”

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He called for an international inquiry “to clarify what happened and ensure that all prisoners have the right to family visits.”

Ondo took part in presidential elections last November in which 80-year-old President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo was credited with 94.9 percent of the vote.

Amnesty International urged Obiang to “ensure an independent and urgent investigation” is opened into Obama Mefuman’s death.