Human rights activist arrested in Equatorial Guinea

A human rights activist accused of being behind several fires was arrested on Thursday January 25 in Malabo, the capital of Equatorial Guinea, his organization and a citizens’ platform said on Saturday January 27.
“Anacleto Micha Ndong Nlang is accused of being responsible for the fires that have occurred in recent days in the city of Malabo,” the Somos+ citizens’ platform, which fights for human rights in Equatorial Guinea, said on its Facebook page. It said it had obtained this information from the main person concerned when visiting him at the gendarmerie on Friday January 26.
“The Somos+ civil platform demands the immediate release of comrade Anacleto Micha Ndong Nlang and all political prisoners and prisoners of conscience incarcerated in national prisons”, concludes the press release.
International NGOs and the UN regularly denounce the repression of all dissent in Equatorial Guinea. The association Guinea Ecuatorial También Es Nuestra (Guinea is also ours), of which Anacleto Micha Ndong Nlang is president, is not recognized but only tolerated by the authorities, forcing most of its leaders to live in exile, notably in Spain.
In its communiqué, dated Friday, it urges the government “to take concrete measures to put an end to arbitrary detentions, torture and political persecution in Equatorial Guinea”.
Anacleto Micha Ndong Nlang had already been imprisoned for 271 days for assisting people, including women and children, during the siege of an opposition political party in September 2022. He was also briefly arrested in December 2023.
On Sunday January 21, a grandstand hosting official events and an impound lot were set on fire in the capital, Malabo. In a post on X (formerly Twitter), the activist group ACDC Nationalista (Action de sensibilisation à la démocratie citoyenne) posted a video of firefighters putting out the blaze in the grandstand. The video was accompanied by the following caption: “We’ll keep burning more places if they don’t show us Gabriel Nze Obiang alive…”
The movement refers to the Equato-Guinean political opponent, leader of the opposition Citizens for Innovation (CI) party, who was sentenced to 29 years in prison in June 2023 for “homicide, abusive exercise of fundamental rights, insults to security forces, and illegal possession of ammunition”, in a mass trial the country is accustomed to.
Vice President Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, known as Teodorin, the head of state’s eldest son, described the recent fires as acts of “terrorism” and called on the army to draw up “a strategic plan to repel possible attacks by the terrorist group ACDC.”