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Amnesty International (AI) has urged authorities in Equatorial Guinea to release four West African migrants who have been illegally detained in the country for more than five months.

Abdoulay Ndom and Mouamed Kalouare, from Mali, and Toba Mammed and Lamin Sisoko, from Guinea and Ivory Coast respectively, have been held in detention since November 2021.

The rights organisation, in a statement, noted that the men are irregular migrants who do not have legal residence papers and are being held in a police station in Equatorial Guinea’s capital, Malabo.

According to AI, the migrants have not had access to administrative or legal procedures to challenge the reasons for their detention, a legal guarantee under Equatorial Guinean law.

‘The Equatorial Guinean authorities must immediately release these four West African migrant men who have suffered the confines of detention for almost half a year and put an end to the use of arbitrary arrests and detention’, AI’s Senior Campaigner for West and Central Africa, Marta Colomer, said.

‘Nobody should be arbitrarily arrested and detained on the basis of racial profiling. In Equatorial Guinea, however, arbitrary arrests, and a shocking lack of adherence to legal guarantees provided in national and international laws remain the norm, rather than the exception’.

Data from the United States 2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices shows that significant human rights issues, such as arbitrary detention and killings, forced disappearances by the government, torture and cases of inhuman treatment, were committed by members of the security forces in Equatorial Guinea.

Freedom House also rated Equatorial Guinea as not free in its 2022 Freedom in the World study of civil liberties and political rights, with the Central African country earning five points out of a possible 100.

Source: Amnesty International

Photo source: Amnesty International

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