The abolition of the death penalty from the legal system is one of the commitments assumed by Equatorial Guinea when it joined the Community of Portuguese Language Countries as a full member, in July 2014, at the summit in Dili. Seven years later, this step remains unfulfilled.
In an interview with Lusa, the Ecuadorian Guinean ambassador in Lisbon and the mission to the CPLP, Tito Mba Ada, said that the Chamber of Deputies has, for debate and voting, the new Criminal Code, which will replace the current law, dated 1963.
“The text of the bill will be sent for second reading in the Senate and will then be promulgated by the President of the Republic. This is a process that cannot be rushed and will soon have its expected conclusion”, the diplomat told Lusa.
Urged to set a deadline for this approval, which has been successively postponed, Mba Ada reiterated that it will be “very soon”.
“Equatorial Guinea is a country with a lot of respect for human rights”, he highlighted, stating that since 2006 the country already applied amnesties and pardons to those sentenced to capital punishment.
The ambassador reiterated that the country had introduced a moratorium on the death penalty “the day after accession” and “the death penalty is no longer practiced in Equatorial Guinea”.
Regarding another commitment, the introduction of the Portuguese language in the country, where the population essentially speaks Spanish and other local languages, Tito Mba Ada also pointed out progress, such as the introduction of programs in Portuguese on national television, training courses for civil servants or courses to the population, and he added that new training actions are planned for this year.
Equatorial Guinea wants to assume itself as “a free, safe country, open to new investors”, stressed Mba Ada.
“We are pleased with the steps taken in our commitment to the CPLP, but Equatorial Guinea has also fulfilled the commitments assumed with the integration into the CPLP and is ready to take on new challenges”, he added.
The heads of State and Government of the Portuguese-speaking community will meet on 16 and 17 July at the XIII conference, in Luanda, which will mark the transfer of the organization's rotating presidency from Cape Verde to Angola.
The CPLP is made up of Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Mozambique, Portugal, São Tomé and Príncipe and East Timor.