News / Africa

HRW Concerned about Ivorian Fugitive’s Possible Extradition

The front page of a newspaper featuring the arrest of Ivorian political leader Charles Ble Goude is seen in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, January, 18, 2013.
The front page of a newspaper featuring the arrest of Ivorian political leader Charles Ble Goude is seen in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, January, 18, 2013.
Authorities in Ghana this week arrested Charles Ble Goude, the leader of a youth group in Ivory Coast who was implicated in crimes and what are called "grave human rights violations" during his country’s 2010-11 post-election violence. But Human Rights Watch said Friday Ghana should not extradite Ble Goude to Ivory Coast unless it receives guarantees that he will get a fair trial and that he will not be subject to torture or inhuman treatment.  

Authorities in both Ivory Coast and Ghana have been tight-lipped about how Ble Goude’s case will be handled, and whether he will be sent back to his home country after being on the run since April 2011.

Leader of the Young Patriots militia Charles Ble Goude (C) greets members of the militia and supporters of Ivory Coast's incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo, during a rally in support of the Ivorian armed forces, at Champroux Stadium in Abidjan January 23, 2011.Leader of the Young Patriots militia Charles Ble Goude (C) greets members of the militia and supporters of Ivory Coast's incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo, during a rally in support of the Ivorian armed forces, at Champroux Stadium in Abidjan January 23, 2011.
x
Leader of the Young Patriots militia Charles Ble Goude (C) greets members of the militia and supporters of Ivory Coast's incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo, during a rally in support of the Ivorian armed forces, at Champroux Stadium in Abidjan January 23, 2011.
Leader of the Young Patriots militia Charles Ble Goude (C) greets members of the militia and supporters of Ivory Coast's incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo, during a rally in support of the Ivorian armed forces, at Champroux Stadium in Abidjan January 23, 2011.
Who is Ble Goude?

He was one of the most prominent fugitives from Ivory Coast’s post-election crisis, which erupted after former president Laurent Gbagbo refused to cede office despite losing the 2010 presidential runoff vote to the current president, Alassane Ouattara. The violence claimed more than 3,000 lives over the course of six months.

Ble Goude, a Gbagbo loyalist, was head of the Young Patriots, a group of Gbagbo supporters notorious for targeting Ouattara supporters at roadblocks set up throughout the commercial capital of Abidjan.

Matt Wells, West Africa researcher for Human Rights Watch, said the group was widely feared.

"Throughout the post-election crisis the Young Patriots set up roadblocks around Abidjan and would target northern Ivorians and West African immigrants who passed through, at times brutally beating them to death, shooting them at point blank range or even burning people alive merely because of the clothes they were wearing or their name," said Wells.

But Wells added that a court would have to determine whether Ble Goude had command responsibility for members of the group, and whether he incited his followers to violence through speeches and other declarations made during the crisis.

Justice in Ivory Coast

Rights groups have long questioned whether Ivory Coast is capable of trying cases related to the post-election violence fairly. Despite widespread evidence that both Gbagbo and Ouattara supporters committed atrocities, only Gbagbo supporters have been investigated and charged.

Mr. Ouattara’s government has also been accused of mistreating and sometimes torturing Gbagbo supporters held in military camps, especially after unknown gunmen began committing a series of attacks targeting military positions in August of last year. Ivorian authorities have largely denied the allegations.

Wells said that Ghana should not extradite Ble Goude if there is any threat that he might encounter ill treatment at the hands of Ivorian authorities.

"There have been a number of reports in recent months about inhuman treatment and torture in detention sites and military detention sites in Cote d’Ivoire, so it’s important to ensure there’s no threat against Ble Goude if Ghana is considering extradition," Wells added.

Ivorian authorities have charged Ble Goude with violent crimes and economic crimes.

You May Like

Hostage Crisis Could Divide Japan Over Plans to Boost Military

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Monday the government is working closely with the Jordanian government to secure the release of remaining Japanese hostage Kenji Goto More

Video Brussels Shaken as New Greek Leader Challenges Europe’s Austerity Drive

Country's youngest ever PM Alexis Tsipras, 40, sworn in Monday and says he will restore dignity to Greece by ending spending cuts More

Multimedia National Geographic Photo Camps Empower Youth

Annual mentoring program's mission is to give young people a voice to tell their own stories through photography More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visiti
X
Aru Pande
January 26, 2015 9:33 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video US, EU Threaten New Russia Sanctions Over Ukraine

U.S. President Barack Obama has blamed Russia for an attack by Ukrainian separatists that left dozens dead in the port of Mariupol and cast further doubt on the viability of last year’s cease-fire with the Kyiv government. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Kerry Warns Against Violence in Nigeria Election

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Nigeria Sunday in a show of the level of concern within the U.S. and the international community over next month’s presidential election. Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Saudi, Yemen Developments Are Sudden Complications for Obama

The death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and the collapse of Yemen’s government have cast further uncertainty on U.S. efforts to fight militants in the Middle East and also contain Iran’s influence in the region. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports on the new complications facing the Obama administration and its Middle East policy.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid