News / Africa

Ivory Coast's Gbagbo Faces International Criminal Court

Exterior view of the prison in Scheveningen in the Netherlands, November 30, 2011
Exterior view of the prison in Scheveningen in the Netherlands, November 30, 2011

Human rights activists are urging the International Criminal Court to quickly arrest other people implicated in post-election violence in Ivory Coast, following the transfer of former president Laurent Gbagbo to the Hague-based tribunal. Mr. Gbagbo is expected to appear before the court on Monday according to his  lawyer.

A motorcade of two cars believed to be carrying Ivory Coast's former president Laurent Gbagbo enters the prison in Scheveningen, November 30, 2011
A motorcade of two cars believed to be carrying Ivory Coast's former president Laurent Gbagbo enters the prison in Scheveningen, November 30, 2011

The transfer of former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo to the International Criminal Court has been cheered by his foes and by activists like Geraldine Mattioli, international justice specialist at Human Rights Watch.

"This transfer really shows that no one is above the law, and that you can be a head of state [but] you still have to respect the human rights of your populations and you cannot engage in the type of widespread violence we've seen in Cote d'Ivoire - justice will catch up with you," said Mattioli.

Mr. Gbagbo arrived in The Hague early Wednesday after spending seven months under house arrest in the northern Ivorian city of Korogho.

ICC Charges Against Laurent Gbagbo

Former president is charged with four counts of crimes against humanity, here are the details:

  • Murder
  • Rape, sexual violence
  • Persecution
  • Inhuman acts - December 16, 2010 - April 12, 2011
  • Systematic attacks part of organizational policy
  • Carried out plan knowing it would lead to commission of alleged crimes

In a statement, the ICC says he allegedly bears responsibility for four counts of crimes against humanity: murder, sexual violence, persecution and other inhuman acts that took place after Ivory Coast's disputed elections last year. Prosecutors believe about 3,000 people died in the post-election violence.

The court is also considering a request to investigate other crimes Mr. Gbagbo may have committed between 2002, when the Ivorian civil war broke out,  and 2010.

"Those crimes have been documented by NGOs but also by the U.N. human rights inquiry that had been conducted in Cote d'Ivoire," Geraldine Mattioli of Human Rights Watch said."Crimes against humanity for sure - we've seen attacks against civilians that were systematic and widespread and lasted for months and had a very large geographical span."

Ivory Coast's Gbagbo Faces International Criminal Court
Ivory Coast's Gbagbo Faces International Criminal Court

But a Paris-based lawyer for Gbagbo, Emmanuel Altit, claims the very basis for Mr. Gbagbo's detention - first in Ivory Coast and now in the Hague - is illegal. Altit dismisses the procedure as a farce and claims Mr. Gbagbo's defense was kept in the dark about his transfer to The Hague until the very last minute. He says Mr. Gbagbo considers the charges against him unjust.

In an interview with Reuters, former Gbagbo councilor Toussaint Allain said former colonial power France played an active role in Mr. Gbagbo's transfer to the tribunal for its own political ends.

Mr. Gbagbo joins another former African leader - Liberia's Charles Taylor - in the Hague. Mr. Taylor is awaiting a verdict from another tribunal on war crimes charges. The ICC has also issued an arrest warrant against Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir.

Other arrest warrants are also expected in connection with post-election violence in Ivory Coast.  Human Rights Watch's Mattioli says it's important they also include suspects in the camp of current Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara.

"We believe this is extremely important for Cote d'Ivoire that we do not move towards victor's justice but really look at the crimes committed by both sides," Mattioli said.

Lawyer Altit says he will be representing Mr. Gbagbo when he makes an appearance before the criminal court, which he says will take place on Monday.

You May Like

Mali's Female Basketball Players Rebound After Islamist Occupation

Islamist extremists ruled northern Mali for most of 2012, imposing strict Sharia law, and now some 18 months later, the region is slowly getting back on its feet More

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

Many Chinese-made products go unsold, for now, with numerous Vietnamese consumers still angry over recent dispute More

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies 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.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid