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Persecution of Bubi group persists, Amnesty says

A “new wave of arrests” targeting mainly the Bubi ethnic group has taken place in Equatorial Guinea, Amnesty International said. In a January 1999 report, Amnesty said at least 20 people were recently arrested, held incommunicado in the capital Malabo and reportedly tortured. The arrests followed rumours that a suspected leader of the January 1998 attacks on military barracks on Bioko island had fled by boat to Nigeria, the report said. Those arrested include relatives and people suspected of hiding the leader or helping him to flee, Amnesty said. It said some 80 people, convicted in May on the basis of confessions made under torture in connection with last year’s attack, continued to be detained at Malabo’s Black Beach prison in crowded cells, and 11 sentenced to death were being held in “life-threatening conditions”. One detainee died in July 1998 and many of the prisoners are said to be very weak and not receiving adequate treatment or food, it said. In additional to persecution of the Bubi population, the government has continued to harass peaceful political opponents, Amnesty added.
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