Johannesburg - South African Nobel Peace laureate Desmond Tutu on Tuesday joined a call by rights groups to abolish a Unesco prize named after Equatorial Guinea's President Teodoro Obiang Nguema.
“Unesco has repeatedly postponed action on the prize in the face of global protest against President Obiang, who has presided over high levels of official corruption, repression and poverty in Equatorial Guinea,” a statement said.
The statement from seven NGO and rights groups, including Human Rights Watch and Global Witness, rejected a proposal by Obiang for the prize to be awarded but without mention of his name.
The United Nations cultural organisation in 2010 bowed to pressure from anti-corruption campaigners and suspended the science prize named after Obiang.
Unesco’s governing executive board is to make a final decision on the prize during its session to be held from Monday until March 10 at its Paris headquarters.