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Attacks on the Press in 1998 - Equatorial Guinea

Publisher Committee to Protect Journalists
Publication Date February 1999
Cite as Committee to Protect Journalists, Attacks on the Press in 1998 - Equatorial Guinea, February 1999, available at: [accessed 18 January 2018]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

As of December 31, 1998

Teodoro Obiang Nguema M'basogo came to power in a 1979 coup and immediately executed his uncle, the authoritarian ruler he deposed. M'basogo's dictatorial style of governance hasn't changed appreciably since then. This year, M'basogo allowed foreign journalists to cover a trial that offered a rare and uncomfortable window into the country's history of rule by iron fist. He may have believed this openness could help restore the international credibility and foreign aid the country lost in 1993 after he brutally cracked down on his political opposition.

The result was apparently not what authorities had expected. On May 31, eight foreign correspondents covering the trial of 117 citizens from the Bubi ethnic group were expelled from the country because authorities viewed their reports of irregularities in the proceedings and signs that the defendants had been tortured as "tendentious." The Bubi defendants are accused of secession for attacking government forces in January on Bioka, the oil-rich but impoverished island that they inhabit. For the foreseeable future, local journalists will continue to practice self-censorship in an environment rigidly intolerant of critical viewpoints, where the media are tightly controlled by the state.

Attacks on the Press in Equatorial Guinea in 1998

5/31/98El PaisExpelled
5/31/98La VanguardiaExpelled
5/31/98El Heraldo de AragonExpelled
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