Bubi

2001
oil on canvas
38" x 18"
Unsold
1,875 (unframed)
Bubi

EQUATORIAL GUINEA: Ethnic Bubis, the indigenous people of Equatorial Guinea's Bioko Island, have faced discrimination since the country's independence from Spain in 1968. However, nothing could prepare the population for the systematic repression and torture that followed a deadly 1998 attack on military barracks. The 500 arrests only hint at the grave human rights violations that occurred throughout the nation, as security forces beat Bubis in the street, raped women in their homes, or looked on while angry mobs did the same. In Bubi villages, homes were razed and commercial goods bound for market destroyed. Police forces often based arrests simply upon ethnicity alone, and a number those detained died from injuries received while in custody. Detainees describe prisoners rendered unconscious from beatings, then revived for further torture. Women, often held in hopes of flushing male relatives, suffered sexual abuse and public humiliation. About 15 of the 85 Bubis convicted at a trial widely considered to be unfair were sentenced to life in prison, and others up to 25 years. However, given the likelihood that inmates will succumb to the harshness of prison conditions alone, Amnesty International considers these prison sentences nothing more than a slow execution.