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The Africa Steering Committee of the Publish What You Pay campaign notes with great concern the proliferation of threats and attacks by some African governments against members of Publish What You Pay, in particular:
Equatorial Guinea: Mr. Marcial ABAGA BARRIL, a member of Publish What You Pay, was arrested on November 1, 2011 by the local police for allegedly killing the cook of the President and committing adultery with his wife. The charges have never been formalized.
Mr. Marcial ABAGA BARIIL was released on November 4, but the charges against him were not dropped and the situation remains uncertain.
It should be recalled that on 28 July 2011 the Minister of the Interior had ordered the suspension of a training seminar organized by CEID (Centro de Estudios e Iniciativas para el Desarrollo) for the leaders of associations and NGOs of the mainland. This seminar focused on the management of organizations of civil society.
Central African Republic: In September 2011, some members of the national coalition of Publish What You Pay were arrested while they were going to teach local communities about the impact of uranium exploitation.
The Africa Steering Committee of Publish What You Pay firmly condemns these attacks and calls on African governments, particularly those of Equatorial Guinea and the Central African Republic to:
The Africa Steering Committee of Publish What You Pay was set up during the last Africa Regional Meeting in Kinshasa in May 2007. Its main function is to represent the African constituency of the PWYP campaign at continental and international levels. The mandate of the ASC encompasses three main roles: a) to lead on advocacy with African and international institutions; b) to ensure the adoption and implementation of a protection strategy for African campaigners; c) to ensure that the principles of PWYP are enshrined in the African campaign and guide the practices of national coalitions.
The members of the first Africa Steering Committee are: