Equatorial Guinea president defends UNESCO prize in his name that critics call disgraceBy AP
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Equatorial Guinea defends UN prize critics blast
DAKAR, Senegal — Equatorial Guinea’s president is defending a UNESCO prize that bears his name that has come under intense criticism from rights groups.
The first UNESCO-Obiang Nguema Mbasogo International Prize for Research in the Life Sciences is scheduled to be given this year for research that improves quality of life. It is worth $300,000.
London-based rights group Global Witness says the U.N. agency is helping to “launder the reputation” of a dictator.
President Teodoro Obiang Nguema, also known as Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, said Monday the international community simply does not want to support a prize in his name.
Obiang’s government has been accused of serious human rights violations, including torture, arbitrary arrests and severe restrictions on speech.
Tags: Africa, Central Africa, Dakar, Equatorial Guinea, Senegal, West Africa