Pastor Who Called Equatorial Guinea’s President A ‘Demon’ Set Free

Written By Lisa Murimi

A pastor and former justice minister in Equatorial Guinea, Rubén Maye Nsue Mangue, has been released after being detained for two years for calling President Teodoro Obiang Nguema a “demon.”

President Obiang, Africa’s longest-serving ruler, pardoned Mangue, who was arrested in 2022 for his criticism in a widely shared audio recording.

In the recording, Mangue referred to Obiang as “a demon… holding his people as prisoners.”

He refused to apologize, leading to accusations of provoking public disorder. The justice ministry also barred him from preaching.

Rights organizations describe Obiang as one of Africa’s most authoritarian rulers. He has been in power since a 1979 coup and won a sixth term in 2022 with nearly 95% of the vote.

Mangue reported that he had not received a lawyer’s visit during his detention and was not put on trial.

He was held in preventive detention until his release under a decree granting amnesty to him and 19 others.

The decree expressed hope that the recipients would “behave with dignity as repentant citizens.”

Mangue, an ordained Pentecostal pastor, served as justice minister from 1998 to 2004 and held diplomatic positions with the African Union and the United States.