March 8, 2018

Cartoonist Ramón Nse Ebalé freed!

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and 17 other international NGOs have issued a joint statement welcoming the release of Ramón Nse Ebalé, an Equatorial Guinean cartoonist who was detained arbitrarily for nearly six months in Malabo, the country’s capital.

Held since 16 September 2017 on a charge of “forging money and money laundering,” Ebalé was finally freed yesterday (7 March). He had always denied the charge and said the real reason for his arrest was his cartoons criticizing President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo.

At the end of a court hearing in Malabo on 27 February, the state prosecutor requested his release because of an “absence of clear evidence.”

Ramón Nse Ebalé’s release is a relief but we insist that he should never have been imprisoned,” RSF said. “He spent nearly six months of his life in prison on charges that have finally been dropped.

Equatorial Guinea is ranked 171st out of 180 countries in RSF's 2017 World Press Freedom Index.