US: Amnesty Int'l tasks Ivorian authorities on Ms. Gbagbo's trial

New York, US (PANA) - Human rights watchdog, Amnesty International, on Monday urged Ivorian authorities to reconsider their refusal to comply with their obligation to surrender former first lady, Ms. Simone Gbagbo, to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Amnesty International, in a statement obtained by PANA in New York, said the need to surrender Ms Gbagbo was in pursuant to an arrest warrant issued by the ICC against her on charges of crimes against humanity.

It, however, noted that her trial in Abidjan, which commenced on Monday, is an important step towards ending impunity in Cote d’Ivoire.

"Unless Cote d’Ivoire applies to the International Criminal Court to again challenge the admissibility of her case they must immediately surrender Simone Gbagbo to the ICC," said Gaetan Mootoo, West Africa's researcher for Amnesty International.

He stated: "If the domestic trial continues, Cote d’Ivoire must ensure that its proceedings comply with international human rights law standards, including the right to a fair trial."

He also said that "Cote d’Ivoire must show the world it is serious about delivering post-conflict justice to victims of all crimes."

Ms. Gbagbo is standing trial on charges of crimes against humanity related to the country's post-election violence in 2010-2011.

More than 1,000 people were killed in the violence that ensued when her husband, former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo, refused to relinquish power after losing the election.

Ms. Gbagbo had been charged by the ICC with crimes against humanity, including murder, rape, persecution and other inhuman acts.

An arrest warrant was issued against her on 22 February 2012.

In 2014, an ICC Pre-Trial Chamber rejected a challenge by Cote d’Ivoire against the admissibility of the case, which was confirmed on appeal in 2015.

Cote d’Ivoire has so far refused to surrender her to the ICC.

She was previously convicted and sentenced to 20 years imprisonment on 10 March 2015 on charges of participation in an insurrectional movement, conspiracy against the State, and disturbing public order.  

PANA reports that the former President Gbagbo and Charles Ble Goude, an ally of the Gbagbos and leader of a militant youth group, are currently on trial before the ICC for crimes against humanity in relation to the post-election violence.
-0- PANA AA/VAO 9May2016

09 may 2016 13:01:47

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