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UNESCO Awards Controversial Obiang Prize

  • VOA News

Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang (C) stands for the playing of the African Union anthem at the closing session of the 17th African Union Summit, at Sipopo Conference Center, outside Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, July 1, 2011.
The United Nations culture and science body awarded a life sciences prize in a Paris ceremony Tuesday boycotted by European leaders because the prize is funded by the leader of Equatorial Guinea.

Human rights groups accuse Teodoro Obiang of corruption and allowing citizens of the African nation to live in poverty despite the country's oil wealth.

Seven human rights groups put out a statement calling UNESCO's decision to hand out the prize shameful and irresponsible.

The prize was awarded to researchers from Egypt, Mexico, and South Africa, who each received $100,000.