Target: President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mangue of Equatorial Guinea
Goal: Release man from prison who has undergone torture and become sick with no evidence of his crime
Since January, 2013, Roberto Berardi has been in custody in Equatorial Guinea charged with crimes for which no evidence has been presented. A June, 2014 medical report states that while imprisoned he has developed typhoid fever and pulmonary emphysema. He was prescribed medication, but according to his family, has not received it.
Berardi was convicted in mid-2013 of fraud and theft of company property and sentenced to two years in prison. Berardi’s family alleges that no evidence was given to prove these charges and believes the cause of his arrest is a sinister one.
Prior to his arrest, Berardi was the business partner of President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mangue’s eldest son, Teodorin. Berardi’s family says shortly before the arrest, Berardi asked his partner about a suspicious bank transfer, a transfer cited by the U.S. Justice Department as evidence in a civil complaint against Teodorin for laundering profits of alleged corruption. The family believes Berardi’s detainment is an attempt to keep him from releasing information about the president’s son. In France, Teodorin is also part of an ongoing corruption investigation.
In April, 2014, following concern over Berardi’s well-being from interested international parties, including both the European Parliament and European Commission, President Obiang promised to release the Italian prisoner. So far, there has been no news of a pardon or release since that promise was made.
Berardi’s family also says that, since imprisoned, Berardi has been tortured, denied medical attention, left in solitary confinement for long periods of time and held in deplorable living conditions.
Sign this petition and call for the immediate release of Roberto Berardi as promised so he may receive the medical attention he needs.
Dear President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mangue,
Roberto Berardi has been held in deplorable conditions since January, 2013. No evidence of his alleged crimes has been presented and his release has been publicly promised. Yet he remains in custody, and a medical report states that he has developed both pulmonary emphysema and typhoid fever. According to his family, he has not received the necessary treatment prescribed for these conditions.
Without proper medical treatment, Berardi will die in prison, unjustly accused. I urge you to follow through on your promise and immediately release Berardi so he may seek the medical attention he gravely requires and return to the life stolen from him for crimes there is no proof he committed.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Geo Swan via Wikimedia Commons