Pastor who was detained 2 years ago for calling Equatorial Guinea’s presiden a “demon”, has been freed.

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Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo

A pastor and former justice minister in Equatorial Guinea, who was detained two years ago for calling the president a “demon”, has been freed.

Rubén Maye Nsue Mangue was released after being pardoned by President Teodoro Obiang Nguema.

Mr Obiang, 82, is Africa’s longest-serving ruler, having taken power in a coup in 1979.

Mr. Mangue was arrested for criticising him in a widely shared audio recording in 2022, calling him “a demon… holding his people as prisoners”.

He refused to apologise to the head of state. He was then accused of provoking public disorder, and the justice ministry also barred him from preaching.

Mr. Obiang has been described by rights organisations as one of Africa’s most authoritarian rulers.

He won a sixth term in elections in 2022, with nearly 95% of the vote.
Political opposition in the oil-rich state is barely tolerated and the is a lack of a free press.

On Monday, Mr Mangue told the AFP news agency that he had not received a lawyer’s visit throughout his detention, and he had not been put on trial.

“I was in preventive detention,” he was quoted as saying.
A decree issued on Friday granted Mr Mangue and 19 others amnesty.

It was issued with the “conviction that the recipients of the grace contained in this provision will behave with dignity as repentant citizens”.

Mr Mangue is an ordained Pentecostal pastor, serving with the Prophetic Ministry Church of the Shadow of Christ.

He was justice minister from 1998 to 2004 when he was fired in a government shake-up by the president.

In 2007, Mr Mangue was named Equatorial Guinea’s permanent representative to the African Union and the ambassador to the United States in 2013.

The following year, he was suspected of assaulting a girl at his US residence but was not arrested because he had diplomatic immunity.

Mr Mangue did not respond to the accusations at the time.

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