Unjustly Detained Doctor
Unjustly Detained DoctorMarch 23, 2012
Wenceslao Mansogo, a physician and human rights activist, remains unjustly detained in Equatorial Guinea for politically motivated reasons.
Dr. Wenceslao Mansogo, a medical doctor, prominent human rights defender and opposition party leader, has been detained since February 9 over allegations of professional negligence and mutilation of a body. Amnesty International considers Dr. Mansogo a prisoner of conscience. Dr. Mansogo has not been ill-treated and he is allowed to receive visitors.
On February 9, Dr. Mansogo was arrested without a warrant, a violation of Equatoguinean law, following the death of a patient during surgery. The family of the deceased accused Dr. Mansogo of removing organs from the corpse. However according to a post-mortem exam carried out by Bata Regional Hospital on February 9 and an investigation conducted by the Minister of Health, no body parts were missing and the cause of death was ruled a heart attack. Despite the lack of evidence, the investigating judge ordered Dr. Mansogo held in Bata Central Prison without formally charging him. Dr. Mansogo’s lawyers appealed his detention twice, but for reasons that are unclear, his appeal was denied both times. He remains in jail.
On March 12, Dr. Mansogo was formally charged with professional negligence and mutilation of a body. The anesthesiologist who works with Dr. Mansogo has also been charged with the same offences.
On February 16, the Ministry of Health attempted to shut down Dr. Mansogo’s private clinic in Bata. His wife and lawyers prevented this, however, by demanding a judicial order and authorities have not attempted to shut down the clinic since.
Dr. Mansogo is the Secretary of Human Rights and International Affairs for the Convergence for Social Democracy party (CPDS). CPDS is the only legal opposition party in Equatorial Guinea with representation in parliament and its members are frequently harassed and detained. In November 2011, another member of CPDS, Marcial Abaga Barril, was detained for 3 days before being released without charge.