African leaders call for end to UNESCO prize

Published October 12, 2010

| Associated Press

An international rights agency says African leaders are calling on UNESCO to cancel a prize named for the president of Equatorial Guinea.

A letter signed by 125 African scholars and human rights defenders denounced the UNESCO-Obiang Nguema Mbasogo Prize for Research in the Life Sciences, the rights group EG Justice said in a statement issued Monday.

President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo seized power more than 30 years ago and has been accused of human rights violations including unlawful killings, torture, and arbitrary arrests. Obiang denies the allegations.

Former Archbishop Desmond Tutu, author Chinua Achebe, and Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka are among those whose signatures were included in the letter.

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