On Friday, Equatorial Guinean Secretary of State for Information and Press Federico Abaga Ondo stormed into the studios of government-controlled national broadcaster RTVGE and ordered producers to kill the microphone of presenter Juan Pedro Mendene, according to local journalists. Ondo then ordered Mendene, who was presenting his weekly hour-long, French-language call-in educational program "Détente Intégrale," (Total Relaxation) out of the studio, forbidding him to return to the studio, according to the same sources.
Speaking to CPJ today, Mendene--who
has been nicknamed by listeners "The Guide" because of the educational nature
of his show--mentioned the Libyan revolution in the introduction to his program.
According to local journalists, the official took exception to the reference on
the grounds that it breached the government-controlled station policy of not
discussing on events in
"We condemn the suspension of Juan
Pedro Mendene for merely mentioning
President Teodoro Obiang's repression of dissent and his iron grip on the media during his 32 years of rule have cowed the Equatorial Guinean press into self-censorship, preventing any probing coverage of ongoing international investigations of the ruling elite over of allegations of siphoning of oil revenue profits, according to CPJ research.