In Abidjan, a 2-year sentence of 26 activists of the party of former President Laurent Gbagbo, PPA-CI is an “iniquitous, arbitrary and politically oriented” decision, according to a statement of the party made public on Friday 10 March. As a result, the leaders of the political group are demanding the “immediate release of his activists” who participated on 24 February in a rally in support of Damana Pickass, the secretary general of the PPA-CI.
In the wake of the conviction of its 26 activists to whom the ivorian justice reproaches a “public nuisance”, The African Peoples’ Party of Ivory Coast (PPA-CI) denounced an “arbitrary” court decision which “seriously undermines the fundamental law of Ivory Coast, which prescribes freedom of assembly and peaceful manifestation”.
Thus, for the leaders of the PPA-CI, this conviction blames “the safeguarding of democratic gains obtained in pain by the people in the 1990s,” has confirmed Koné Katinan, before calling for “the release without delay of its unjustly convicted activists.
In addition, in his statement, the party’s spokesperson deplores the “instrumentalisation of the judiciary in Ivory Coast”. This is likely to “jeopardize the national reconciliation process”. He further noted that only one of the accused was found no guilty in these proceedings, as he did not claim to be a member of PPA-CI.
“This conviction unnecessarily increases to the list of prisoners of conscience in our country since 2011, and does not contribute to creating and maintaining a climate of peace and cohesion in our country,” said Minister Justin Koné Katinan.
Facing such an existential threat to social cohesion, the PPA-CI holds the government “entirely and exclusively” responsible for the deterioration of the political and social climate in a very unstable regional environment marked by deep political crises. He invited his activists to “remain mobilised to listen to the party’s watchwords”.