World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Côte d’Ivoire: Accused leaders must be detained lawfully

17 January 2014

Côte d’Ivoire: Militia leader accused of crimes against humanity must be detained lawfully

Authorities in Côte d’Ivoire must transfer former militia leader Charles Blé Goudé, who is accused of crimes against humanity, to a legally recognized place of detention where his relatives and lawyers can visit him, Amnesty International said.

Charles Blé Goudé, a supporter of former president Laurent Gbagbo, has been detained unlawfully by the Ivorian Ministry of Interior for the past year on charges relating to the 2010-11 post election violence.

“Preventing Charles Blé Goudé from seeing his lawyers will not serve justice for the victims of the crimes he is accused of,” said Gaëtan Mootoo, West Africa researcher at Amnesty International.

“Instead, authorities must ensure any judicial process against him is transparent and fair so victims and their relatives can obtain the justice they are entitled to.”

Since his arrest in Ghana and transfer to Côte d’Ivoire, Blé Goudé has been denied regular access to his family and counsel. His lawyers were only allowed to see him once, in August 2013. In December, the authorities prevented an Amnesty International delegation from visiting him.

In recent years, Amnesty International documented reports of torture and incommunicado detention against real or suspected supporters of former President Laurent Gbagbo at the Ministry of Interior security facility where Blé Goudé has been detained.

“Blé Goudé’s detention in the Directorate of Territorial Surveillance facility is a clear violation of international and local laws. No one should be held in an unofficial place of detention without access to lawyers,” said Gaëtan Mootoo.

Besides his national trial, Blé Goudé is also facing an arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC), on charges of crimes against humanity including murder, rape, sexual violence, persecution and other inhuman acts.

On 13 January 2014, Côte d’Ivoire asked ICC judges to grant a three-month postponement of its obligation to execute the arrest warrant and surrender Blé Goudé. ICC judges may authorize such a postponement to allow completion of the case brought against him in national courts. In the request, the Ivorian authorities pledged that Blé Goudé’s case will proceed swiftly in the first half of 2014.

“If the ICC judges grant the postponement, the Ivorian authorities must promptly complete the investigation and – if sufficient evidence is found – prosecution of Blé Goudé and then surrender him to the ICC,” said Gaëtan Mootoo.

Background information
Almost three years after the end of the post-electoral crisis which resulted in almost 3,000 deaths, known or suspected supporters of former President Laurent Gbagbo continue to be victims of human rights violations, such as prolonged detention without trial and no regular access to lawyers and relatives.

In the past two years, Amnesty International has documented hundreds of cases of individuals who were held in detention for months without access to relatives or lawyers because of their real of alleged support to former President Gbagbo.

The Forces républicaines de Côte d’Ivoire (FRCI, Republican Forces of Côte d'Ivoire, the national army) and the military police were responsible for numerous human rights violations after arresting and detaining individuals outside the legal framework and often on the basis of ethnicity and political affiliations.

These acts were made possible by the use of places of detention not recognized as such, where individuals suspected of acts against state security were held incommunicado, sometimes for long periods, and in inhumane and degrading conditions. Many were tortured and some have been released following payment of a ransom.

National investigations into alleged crimes have only been opened against real or alleged supporters of Laurent Gbagbo, while, to Amnesty International’s knowledge, none of the perpetrators of the serious post-electoral violations committed by the security forces have been held to account.

Former President Laurent Gbagbo was transferred to the ICC in The Hague in November 2011 to face charges of crimes against humanity. A decision regarding these charges is expected in 2014. Former First Lady Simone Gbagbo has also been charged with crimes against humanity, but the Ivorian authorities’ challenge to the admissibility of the case has meant she h

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Lack Of Funds Forces UN Agency To Halt Gaza Rebuild

Lack of funds forces UN agency to halt Gaza programme for repairs to destroyed homes More>>

ALSO:

Freeport Wins 6-Month Export Extension

An aerial view shows the site of the Grasberg Mine, operated by US.-based Freeport-McMoRan, in Papua in this Nov. 4, 2010 file photo. (Reuters Photo/Muhammad Yamin) More>>

ALSO:

Former Malaysian Prime Minister Speaks Out Against Sarawak

After receiving a letter from the network of communities affected by the dams, Malaysia’s former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad criticises the Sarawak government’s multi-dam initiative More>>

Egypt: UN Rights Chief Urges End To Excessive Use Of Force

As police, protesters clash in Egypt, UN rights chief urges end to excessive use of force More>>

Ukraine: Minsk Peace Accords Must Be Revived

Jeffrey Feltman, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, addresses the Security Council on the situation in Ukraine. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe More>>

ALSO:

Connie Lawn: Middle East Turmoil

There is always turmoil in the Mid East but at this time three major developments have broken at the same time. In Saudi Arabia 91 year old King Abdullah has died... In Yemen, the President and his top advisors have resigned. More>>

ALSO:

Russia Supports Indonesia`s Possible Move To Buy Sukhoi 35

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Russian government supports Indonesias wish to buy the multipurpose fighter jet Sukhoi 35 to enhance the countrys air force. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news