Category Archives: Human rights

Belgium hosts Laurent Gbagbo

Belgium has agreed to host Cote d’Ivoire ex-President Laurent Gbagbo following his acquittal by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague.
The spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that Belgium had agreed to welcome the former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo, who is released on conditions, as announced by the International Criminal Court, after his acquittal in January for crimes against humanity.

Belgium has accepted the request of the International Criminal Court to host former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo on its territory, a spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs told Belga news agency. The International Criminal Court (ICC) released conditionally Mr. Gbagbo, acquitted more than two weeks ago of crimes against humanity committed in 2010 and 2011 during post-election violence in CĂŽte d’Ivoire.

Belgium has received a request for cooperation from the Court because of family ties of Laurent Gbagbo in our country,” said Karl Lagatie, spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “Belgium supports the international criminal courts and we have responded positively to this request.”

Laurent Gbagbo have to be available to the Court for the duration of the appeal, the ministry added.

According to the Belgian press, one of Gbagbo‘s wives – Nady Bamba (47), lives there with their son.  Alghouth Christain Mr.Gbagbo has two wives: the First Lady (2000-2010) of Cote d’Ivore Simone Gbagbo (69) and Nady Bamba.
Simone Gbagbo was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2015 in CĂŽte d’Ivoire for her responsibility. in the tragic events of 2010-2011, described as an attack on state security. In 2018, she received an amnesty decreed by the incumbent President Alassane Ouattara.

It was a request from the court to host Mr Gbagbo simply because he has family in Belgium: his second wife, a child in Brussels,” Foreign Minister Didier Reynders told RTBF, Begium’s public television channel, on February 2.

We have concluded that it is alright for him to stay in Belgium while on conditional release,” he said, adding that the “conditions” of his stay would be discussed with the ICC including “limits” on Gbagbo‘s movements.

 

Gbagbo released on conditions

The International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague has ordered the release on conditions of former Cote d’Ivoire President Laurent Gbagbo after he was cleared of charges of crimes against humanity.

Judges agreed on to release the 73-year-old former leader and his aide Charles Ble Goude on condition that they live in a country which will agree to host them.

“… A state willing to accept them on its territory and willing to enforce the conditions set” by the court, the judge Chile Eboe-Osuji said.

Gbagbo and Ble Goude stood trial on four counts of crimes against humanity for murder, rape, persecution and other inhumane acts committed by pro-Gbagbo forces in the aftermath of the disputed 2010 polls.

Gbagbo has been in ICC custody since 2011, Ble Goude since 2014.

More than 3,000 people perished on both sides after Gbagbo refused to accept the defeat to his West backed-rival, Alassane Ouattara, who is Cote d’Ivoire incumbent president.

 

MEPs condemn use of force in Sudan

MEPs strongly condemn the excessive use of force by the Sudanese National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) during the ongoing popular protests against price increases and President Omar al-Bashir’s regime. The Sudanese government recently decided to end subsidies on staple goods in response to aggravating inflation, which is now the second highest in the world at around 122 %.

The European Parliament also deplores the ongoing general repression by the authorities in Sudan, which continue to target activists and human rights defenders, as well as lawyers, teachers, students and doctors.

The resolution calls for the immediate and unconditional release of human rights lawyer and 2007 Sakharov Prize laureate Salih Mahmoud Osman, who was arrested on 8 January, as well as all other political prisoners currently in detention without charge or trial.ep pleanry stb

MEPs reiterate their demand to President al-Bashir  to comply with international law in accordance with the conventions and treaties to which his government is party. The Sudanese President, in power for 29 years, is the only sitting head of stated wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide committed during his campaign of ethnic cleansing in Darfur. Although the Sudanese constitution does not permit him to stand again when his term ends, Mr al-Bashir is currently seeking to amend relevant articles in order to obtain a life mandate.

Zimbabwe internet paralysis

Zimbabwe suffered an internet paralysis  on January 18 as a result of the authorities extended communications ban to exchange emails after days of deadly protests over fuel price increases.

According to the governmental sources three people died during demonstrations that broke out on January 14 as a reaction on President Emmerson Mnangagwa decision to augment fuel prices by 150%.

NGOs and activists say the death toll was much higher and that security forces used arms and carried out mass arrests to quell the unrest. According to the NGOs there were 12 deaths, 78 gunshot injuries, 46 cases of vandalism & looting, 242 cases of assault, torture, & dog bites, 466 arbitrary arrests & detentions.

Flows of injured people streamed into a hospital in the capital after the clashes with security.

Protests reporter released in Sudan

Sudan’s relevant authorities released Al Arabiya and Al Hadath correspondent Saad el-Din Hassan after he was summoned for questioning following his reporting of the recent protests in the country.

After his release, Hassan informed his followers on via his Twitter micro blog that his personal phone his press license were confiscated. He added that security officials ordered him to come back the following morning to complete the investigation.

Hassan also tweeted that he was forced to wait about eight hours, without a charge or going through a proper legal process, only to be questioned for about five minutes where he was asked about his coverage of the protests.

However there are the other reports about jailed reporters, who vanished after arrests for coverage of the protests.

 

Marrakesh: leaders sign Global Compact

Speaking at the start of the UN conference in Marrakesh where  states gather to adopt the so-called Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, the Secretary General Antonio Guterres promoted the initiative, insisting developed countries needed more migration due to their declining birth rates and aging populations.

In July all 193 UN members except the United States concluded the non-binding pact of a highly political nature. But since then, the text has come under scrutiny from right-wing European politicians who are convinced it could lead to an increase in migration flows, and the courts would lose the tool to extradite the illegal migrants as the difference between legal and illegal migration would disappear.

At least six European Union members – mostly in Eastern Europe – have shunned the accord. On Sunday, hours ahead of the conference, Chile was the latest country to pull out, while Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel faced collapse of the governing coalition, with resignation of his ministers.

Although depicted as an achievement, the Declaration continues to provoke criticism over its ambiguity not only from right-wing, but also from center right. The European Parliament did not adopt the Resolution of Global Compact in November plenary, the failure regarded as a blow to the image of the initiative. Subsequently the European Parliament delegation had a humble presence.

In spite of the ambivalence, and criticism the signature of Global Compact is a huge step forward to eliminate the concept of ‘illegal migrants’, and create a world without borders.

 

 

EU diplomats prepare for Global Compact for Migration

“I believe there are two mistakes we must not make when discussing the global compacts” the EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini said, while addressing the plenary session of the European Parliament on the preparation of the Marrakech Intergovernmental Conference of 10-11 December on the UN Global Compact for Migration.

The first is to pretend there is a clash between our national interests and the idea of a global compact. The opposite is true. If our national interest is to govern migration – and I believe it is for all of us – to make it orderly, humane and sustainable, then the global compact is a powerful tool to serve our national interest” Mogherini continued.

“The second mistake would be to tackle migration as a fight between the North and the South of the world, the developed and the developing countries. Again, the opposite is true

The diplomat indicated that the most of the countries – for instance in Africa – are at the same time countries of “origin, of transit and of destination”. “We all share an interest to manage migration; we all have an interest in investing in sustainable development in the regions that need it the most; and we all have an interest in creating regular pathways for human mobility”,- Mogherini concluded, insisting there is no conflict between North-South, but common need to harness the problem in a unified manner.

However there is no unity among the EU members on the issue. The latest ‘no’ to the UN project came from the Slovak Parliament, and caused resignation of the Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcak has decided to quit in protest to this decision to reject a UN pact on the treatment of migrants, his office said.

Lajcak was President of the United Nations General Assembly when the migration pact was adopted and had earlier threatened to quit if his country did not support it.

NB! Correction to the map: Croatia will not sign UN Global Compact for Migration, because the majority of lawmakers in the Parliament said that they would not support the Compact because it was “unclear and ambiguous“.

Nowadays there are over 258 million migrants around the world living outside their country of birth. This figure is expected to grow for a number of reasons including  population growth, increasing connectivity, trade, rising inequality, demographic imbalances and climate change. Critics claim that the non-binding document declares economic migration as a human right which means giving up a state’s sovereignty while supporters of the Compact claim that it will improve international management of migrant waves and strengthen the protection of human rights.

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