On 14 February 2020 Joaquín Elo Ayeto, was released from Black Beach Prison in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, where he had been imprisoned for almost a year. Without any explanation or information, Joaquín was taken out of the prison and left on the street without a phone or any money.
The release took place following a meeting on the same day of the Secretary General of the Convergence for Social Democracy Party, and other members of the opposition party of which Joaquín is a member, with Teodoro Obiang, President of Equatorial Guinea. In that meeting the President gave the order to release Joaquín.
Joaquín Elo Ayeto was arrested at his home on 25 February 2019, accused of having information on a plot to kill the president. Joaquín was tried for defamation and threats against the President on 21 November 2019. His sentence was never read.
Despite his imprisonment Joaquín Elo Ayeto is determined to carry on with his human right work: “Now that I am free I’m going to carry on doing the work that I used to do before. I can see that the country is in a much worst situation than a year ago when I was detained. The economic crisis is worst, the government continues without giving information to its citizens…”
Following his release, Joaquín Elo Ayeto shared the following message with Amnesty International: “I have been told of the work that you have done for me and I want to thank the titanic effort by Amnesty International that has resulted in my release. I want to thank all the work that has been done to achieve my release”.