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Update on ICC investigation in Côte d'Ivoire.
Coalition for the International Criminal Court
Côte d'Ivoire

The Coalition for the ICC is pleased to bring you the latest news related to the International Criminal Court's (ICC) investigation in Côte d'Ivoire. Below you will find an update on the case of Laurent Gbagbo, Coalition member statements and op-eds, articles quoting Coalition members as well as related news and opinion. For more information on the ICC investigation in Côte d'Ivoire or on the work of the Coalition visit coalitionfortheicc.org.

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Update on Gbagbo case

REDRESS submits amicus curiae observations
On 16 March 2012, Coalition member REDRESS submitted observations to ICC Pre-Trial Chamber (PTC) III on a potential collective approach to victims’ participation in the case against Laurent Gbagbo, the former president of Côte d’Ivoire suspected of crimes against humanity. REDRESS limited its submission to relevant comparative practice and challenges which may be relevant to PTC III in its consideration of this issue. On 8 March, PTC III had granted REDRESS leave to submit observations on victims’ collective application processes and practices. On 2 March, PTC III had invited observations from the prosecution and defense involved in the Gbagbo case on a proposal by the ICC Registry for a partly collective application form for victims' participation. One of the major innovations of the Rome Statute, the ICC's founding treaty, is the ability of victims to participate in proceedings.

Background  
On 30 November 2011, Laurent Koudou Gbagbo was transferred to the ICC following the issuance of an arrest warrant for crimes against humanity committed since 28 November 2010
in Côte d'Ivoire. On 5 December 2011, Gbagbo made his initial appearance before PTC III, at which time the date for the confirmation of charges hearing was set for 18 June 2012, when ICC judges will decide whether or not to move the case to trial. On 22 February 2011, PTC III expanded its authorization for the ICC prosecutor’s inves­tigation to the 2002-2010 period. Coalition members had long been call­ing on the ICC to investigate crimes allegedly committed during the Ivorian conflict from 2002 onward.

ICC audiovisual resources
Laurent Gbagbo case : Program "Ask the Court" (in French)
Silvana Arbia, ICC Registrar, Emmanuel Altit, main counsel for the defense of Laurent Gbagbo, Gilbert Bitti, legal advisor in the preliminary section, and Pascal Turlan, adviser in international cooperation at the Office of the Prosecutor, answer questions from affected communities.

Situation in Côte d’Ivoire : Program "Ask the Court" (in French)
Gilbert Bitti, legal advisor in the preliminary section, answers questions regarding the decision of Pre-Trial Chamber III to expand the scope of the ICC investigations in Côte d’Ivoire.


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Coalition members statements and op-eds
 
Côte d'Ivoire urged to assist ICC in post-election violence probe, Amnesty International, 28 March 2012

“It is time for the Côte d'Ivoire authorities to cooperate fully with an International Criminal Court (ICC) probe into human rights abuses following the disputed 2010 presidential election, Amnesty International said a year after the conflict's most violent episode.Hundreds were killed in the Duékoué area, 500km west of the capital Abidjan, during three days of intense fighting from 28 March 2011 between forces loyal to outgoing President Laurent Gbagbo and those supporting President Alassane Outtara. To Amnesty International’s knowledge, none of those suspected of responsibility for the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Duékoué have been brought to trial. The ICC has said it will investigate the violence. "The Ivorian authorities must live up to President Ouattara’s repeated commitment to put an end to impunity and take action to ensure the terrible crimes committed in Duékoué 12 months ago do not go unpunished," said Salvatore Saguès, Amnesty International’s researcher on West Africa […]”

See also
6 months of post-electoral violence in Côte d'Ivoire, Photo essay, Amnesty International, March 2012
Côte d'Ivoire: AI urges authorities to assist ICC in post-election violence probe, The Accra Mail, 27 March 2012
ICC in Ivory Coast: Are the dead of Duékoué going to speak?(La CPI en Côte d'Ivoire : Les morts de Duékoué vont-ils parler ?), Le Faso, 16 March 2012 (In French)
Mass Graves Possibly Found In Ivory Coast By International Criminal Court, AP, 15 March 2012
Exclusive report: In search of the mass graves of Duékoué, (Reportage exclusif : à la recherche des charniers de Duékoué), France 24, 13 March 2012 (In French)

Statement Regarding the UN Independent Expert's Report, Human Rights Watch, 21 March 2012

“Human Rights Watch welcomes the Independent Expert's engagement on Côte d'Ivoire after more than a decade of grave human rights abuses committed largely during episodes of political violence and armed conflict. In his first report, the Independent Expert highlights important ongoing problems related to criminality, the continued usurping of state functions by the Republican Forces in certain regions, and the need to end impunity in order to restore the rule of law. We note with concern, however, what we believe to be an inadequate discussion of the ongoing one-sided justice in Côte d'Ivoire. While the Independent Expert takes note of local and international opinion against victor's justice, a deeper discussion of the problem and its impact within Côte d'Ivoire is needed. The 2011 international commission of inquiry, mandated by the Human Rights Council, made its top recommendation "exhaustive, impartial, and transparent" investigations and prosecutions for crimes committed by both sides […].”
 
See also
Report of the independent expert on the situation of human rights in Côte d’Ivoire, Doudou Diène, Human Rights Council, 9 January 2012
Doudou Diène, expert of the United Nations for Ivory Coast: "Justice is a necessary path for reconciliation", (Doudou Diène, expert des Nations Unies pour la Côte d’Ivoire : ‘La justice est une voie nécessaire pour la réconciliation’), Walfadjri, 22 mars 2012 (In French)
 

C:BBC
Côte d’Ivoire: Lethal Crime Wave, Security Vacuum, Human Rights Watch, 5 March 2012
 
“The Ivorian government should urgently address the rising violent crime in and around the central town of Bouaké, the country’s second largest city, Human Rights Watch said today. The government should take urgent steps to disarm the former combatants widely believed to be implicated in the attacks and adequately equip the police and gendarmes to protect the population and investigate violent crimes, Human Rights Watch said […] “The Ivorian people have suffered countless horrors,” said Corinne Dufka, senior West Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch. “The government needs to show it intends to end this violence by disarming former combatants and ensuring that police and gendarmes are equipped to protectIvorians and stem the rampant criminality around Bouaké.”[…]
 
See also
Human rights' group warns of crime wave in Ivory Coast, AFP, 6 march 2012

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Coalition members quoted

C:CICCA Year After the War: Promise and Peril in Ivory Coast, TIME, 26 March 2012
 
“[…] While more than 120 Gbabgo supporters have been prosecuted in military and civil courts, not a single Ouattara backer has been held accountable to date. "So far, Ouattara's promises have been hollow," says Human Rights Watch Ivory Coast expert Matt Wells. Ali Ouattara, no relation and head of the Ivorian Coalition for International Criminal Court Justice, says: "We hope that not only Gbagbo will have to answer to the ICC, but all other key political figures who committed crimes. Otherwise history will repeat itself in Ivory Coast." […].” Read more.
 
C:BBC
UN: Ivory Coast Gov't Not Ordering Forces to Kill, AP, 21 March 2012
 
“Ivory Coast security forces accused of killings, arbitrary arrests and other human rights violations are acting alone and not under government orders, a United Nations official said Wednesday, as the West African nation struggles to impose order after months of violence and chaos. […] Human rights groups questioned some aspects of the U.N. report. A researcher at Human Rights Watch said the report "shies away" from criticism. "As he continues his vital work after a decade of grave human rights abuses, the Independent Expert should look more deeply at the role of the Republican Forces in ongoing abuses and at the one-sided justice that threatens to further political-ethnic tensions," Matt Wells said. […]
 
"I share the view that most violations [...] are linked to the lack of progress in initial steps of security sector reform,"said Gilles Yabi, West Africa Project Director of the International Crisis Group. The violations, he said, "have to do with the indiscipline of (the Republican Forces), lack of clear chain of command and control, and a strong sense of impunity." But, he added: "Saying that does not mean that the state does not have a responsibility. [...] A better control of the (Republican Forces) and strong and visible sanctions of the perpetrators is of course government's responsibility." […]"

 
Rights Group Condemns Violent Crime, Impunity in Ivory Coast, VOA, 5 March 2012

"Human Rights Watch is condemning attacks on civilians in Ivory Coast by former rebels loyal to President Alassane Ouattara, who the group says were not disarmed following last year's post-election conflict. That perceived impunity for these forces threatens long-term stability in the troubled West African country. International watchdog Human Rights Watch says at least 22 people have been murdered near the central Ivorian city of Bouake since December. Bouake is Ivory Coast's second largest city and the former capital of the New Forces, an armed rebel group that retained de-facto control over the northern half of the country following a 2002-2003 civil war. […]

Suliman Baldo of the New York-based International Center for Transitional Justice was one of three experts who investigated post-election abuses in Ivory Coast on behalf of the U.N. Human Rights Council last June. "We have witnessed since the end of the conflict, a remarkable comeback of Ivory Coast at the economic level. But in reality at the level of rule of law, the way justice, whether criminal justice or reconciliation, is being approached so far is giving the perception to the population that this is one-sided justice, victor's justice of a sort. And this reinforces distrust and the disengagement of communities that feel themselves now as the losers from ongoing reconciliation and justice processes," he said […]"

 
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News and opinion

Audience of 18 June at the ICC: what the partisans of Laurent Gbagbo are preparing, (Audience du 18 juin à la CPI : Ce que préparent les partisans de Laurent Gbagbo), Abidjan.net, 24 March 2012 (In French)
Ivory Coast-Soro: "My fate is formidable", (Côte d'Ivoire - Soro : "Mon destin est formidable"), Jeune Afrique, 26 March 2012 (In French)
Crimes in Ivory Coast since 2002: the RDR admits, finally, its responsibility, (Crimes en Côte d’Ivoire depuis 2002 : Le RDR avoue, enfin, sa responsabilité), Abidjan.net, 22 March 2012 (In French)
The ICC in a political-media trap or the last blow of Ouattara, (La CPI dans un traquenard politico-médiatique ou le dernier coup de massue de Ouattara), Cameroon Voice, 22 March 2012 (In French)
The Hague/Three months from his trial, 1038 complaints deposited against Gbagbo, (La Haye/A trois mois de son procès, 1 038 plaintes déposées contre Gbagbo), Abidjan.net, 21 March 2012 (In French)
ICC /Amady Ba, head of international cooperation: "Other arrest warrants will follow and no one will be spared", (CPI / Amady Ba, chef de la coopération internationale : ‘’D’autres mandats d’arrêt suivront et aucune personne ne sera épargnée’’),Abidjan.net, 15 March 2012 (In French)
Ivory Coast puts 28 paramilitary police on trial, AFP, 2 March 2012
ICC / Request on additional legal aid by the lawyer of Gbagbo: Everything on the legal imbroglio around Emmanuel Altit, (CPI / Demande d’aide supplémentaire de l’avocat de Gbagbo : Tout sur l’imbroglio juridique autour de Me Emmanuel Altit), Abidjan.net, 2 March 2012 (In French)
Ivory Coast-Simone Gbagbo: is she going to join her husband at the ICC?, (Côte d'Ivoire - Simone Gbagbo va-t-elle rejoindre son mari à la CPI?), Slate Afrique, 1 March 2012 (In French)
Ivory Coast-After Gbagbo, Soro and "comzones" at the ICC?, (Côte d'Ivoire : après Gbagbo, Soro et les comzones à la CPI ?), Jeune Afrique, 29 February 2012 (In French)
Another Authorization Decision at the International Criminal Court, Prof. William Schabas, PhD Studies in Human Rights blog, 29 February 2012
Statement of the Ivorian civil society on the opening of investigations by the office of the Prosecutor of the ICC from 2002 to 2010, (Déclaration de la société civile Ivoirienne sur l’ouverture d’une enquête du bureau du Procureur de la CPI de 2002 à 2010), Abidjan.net, 27 February 2012 (In French)
Expansion of the scope of the ICC investigations to 2002: The crimes which are going to break the FPI and Laurent Gbagbo, (Elargissement des enquêtes de la CPI à 2002 : Voici les grands crimes qui vont couler le FPI et Laurent Gbagbo), Abidjan.net, 25 February 2012 (In French)

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Coalition policy on the referral and prosecution of situations before the ICC
The Coalition for the ICC is not an organ of the court. The CICC is an independent NGO movement dedicated to the establishment of the International Criminal Court as a fair, effective, and independent international organization. The Coalition will continue to provide the most up-to-date information about the ICC and to help coordinate global action to effectively implement the Rome Statute of the ICC. The Coalition will also endeavor to respond to basic queries and to raise awareness about the ICC's trigger mechanisms and procedures, as they develop. The Coalition as a whole, and its secretariat, do not endorse or promote specific investigations or prosecutions or take a position on situations before the ICC. However, individual CICC members may endorse referrals, provide legal and other support on investigations, or develop partnerships with local and other organizations in the course of their efforts. Communications to the ICC can be sent to: ICC, P.O. Box 19519, 2500 CM, The Hague, the Netherlands.

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