Friday, March 16, 2012

Equatorial Guinea: Equatorial Guinea Says Detention of Doctor Follows Proper Legal Procedures

SOURCE Republic of Equatorial Guinea

The detention of Dr. Wenceslao Mansogo for medical malpractice has been carried out according to proper legal procedures, the government of Equatorial Guinea said today.

In a statement, the government said Doctor Mansogo was arrested following a complaint by the family of a woman who died during surgery. The family objected to the condition of the woman's body and questioned the care she had received.

According to the government statement, an autopsy revealed that the cause of the patient's death was different from that given by Dr. Mansogo to the family.

Human rights organizations have issued statements of concern for Mr. Mansogo, who is a leader of the Convergence for Social Democracy (CPDS), an opposition political party, and a human-rights advocate. Human Rights Watch cited "sources close to him" reporting that "he has not been ill-treated and has had access to his family and his lawyers."

Dr. Mansogo was arrested on February 9 and brought before a judge the following day. According to the judge, Dr. Mansogo was being investigated for crimes involving professional negligence and desecration of a corpse. Dr. Mansogo is currently in the Bata central prison.

In its statement, the Government of Equatorial Guinea noting that Dr. Mansogo practiced freely as a doctor for years without interruption. His detention was not because of political affiliation or work as a human rights activist, it said. It was "caused by a particular complaint from a family," and was being judged by an independent judiciary.

The statement noted that Dr. Mansogo's defense lawyers had requested his immediate release. After the judge rejected the request, they appealed to the Superior Court of Bata, which upheld Dr. Mansogo's preventive detention and returned the case to the lower court.