Under pressure Obiang to free political prisoners

16th November 2006, Comments 0 comments

16 November 2006, MADRID — The controversial president of Equatorial Guinea, Teodoro Obiang, promised to free all political prisoners in his country.

16 November 2006

MADRID — The controversial president of Equatorial Guinea, Teodoro Obiang, promised to free all political prisoners in his country.

The move came after a meeting with Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero in Madrid.

Zapatero insisted Obiang made "important gestures" in the process of democratization and to respect human rights.

The Spanish premier added "the best occasion" on which to do that would be the next elections in the African country.

Obiang also promised to promote better income distribution and he invited Spanish deputies to travel to his country to verify the advances.

The official visit to Madrid by the African leader whose country was a colony of Spain until 1968 has been surrounded by political controversy highlighted by the minority Spanish opposition parties.

Obiang's scheduled to the lower house of Parliament was cancelled, although the speaker's office attributed the move to "problems on the agendas of the organizers".

While oppressive and flagrantly corrupt, Obiang's government is seen as less brutal than that of his uncle and predecessor, Francisco Macias, who killed or drove into exile nearly a third of the country's population.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

 

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