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

India PM Modi's party distances itself from religious conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote a Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert to Hinduism More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic 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.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid