28 septembre 2011 - Mis à jour le 20 janvier 2016

Lettre à Mme Bokova exprimant nos inquiétudes à propos du Prix UNESCO-Obiang Nguema Mbasogo "pour la recherche en sciences de la vie"

Onze organisations ayant participé au processus consultatif de la réunion inter-agences des Nations unies sur la sécurité des journalistes et la question de l’impunité, qui s’est tenue le 13 septembre 2011 à l’UNESCO, ont adressé une lettre commune à Madame Bokova, directrice générale de l'agence onusienne. Ce courrier, daté du 27 septembre 2011, expose les inquiétudes de ces organisations à propos de la création d’un prix international UNESCO-Obiang Nguema Mbasogo "pour la recherche en sciences de la vie". Les objectifs établis et les progrès enregistrés pendant la rencontre pourraient être anéantis par la collaboration de l’UNESCO avec le régime du Président Obiang, marqué par de nombreuses violations des droits de l’homme, par l’absence de liberté de la presse, et par des affaires de corruption.

Voici la lettre (en anglais) :

September 27, 2011

Irina Bokova

UNESCO Director-General

UNESCO Headquarters

7, Place de Fontenoy

75352 Paris 07 SP


Dear Ms. Bokova,

On September 13, representatives from our organizations attended the UN Inter-Agency Meeting on Safety of Journalists and Issue of Impunity, hosted by UNESCO in Paris. We appreciate that our non-governmental organizations were provided a platform to share views and information on these issues, as well as UNESCO’s work to create a comprehensive plan. As was expressed at the meeting, fundamental respect for human rights and freedom of expression is a keystone to progress in the fight against impunity and to end targeted violence against journalists. We believe, therefore, it is imperative we state our serious concerns that UNESCO is considering reinstating the UNESCO-Obiang Nguema Mbasogo International Prize for Research in the Life Sciences.

Among the objectives set forth in UNESCO’s draft plan of action is to create “A free, safe and fair environment for journalists and media workers, who are protected in both conflict and non-conflict situations, with a view to strengthening peace, democracy and development worldwide.” This goal and the important progress made during our meeting, would be greatly undermined, should UNESCO’s executive board move forward with an award named for and funded by Equatorial Guinean President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, given the well-documented record of human rights abuse, repression of press freedom, and official corruption that have marked his rule.

We understand that the matter is on the agenda for discussion at the current 187th session of the executive board. As eleven organizations dedicated to protecting freedom of expression we add our concern to the
hundreds of global voices who spoke out last year to condemn this prize. We urge you to vigorously oppose this effort to reinstate the UNESCO-Obiang prize and to instead cancel it definitively.


Arabic Network for Human Rights Information

Article 19

Committee to Protect Journalists

Inter American Press Association

International Freedom of Expression Exchange

International News Safety Institute

Media Foundation for West Africa

Media Legal Defense Initiative

Reporters sans Frontières

Southeast Asian Press Alliance

World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers

Photo : Irina Bokova ( François Guillot /AFP)