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

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year 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.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

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