Twenty-six activists from the opposition party of former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo saw their sentences reduced on appeal to two years in prison, suspended, for "disturbing public order" during the night of Wednesday to
. of a demonstration at the end of February in Abidjan.
On March 9, the court sentenced these activists of the African Peoples' Party-Côte d'Ivoire (PPA-CI) to two years in prison.
It's a relief, it was a deeply unfair situation to see them in prison
," one of their lawyers, Me Sylvain Tapi, told AFP on Thursday.
On February 24, these activists, some of whom are party officials, were arrested and placed in detention while demonstrating their support for the secretary general of the PPA-CI, Damana Pickass.
The latter was summoned by an investigating judge for his alleged role in the attack on a barracks in Abidjan in 2021.
After the conviction at first instance, Amnesty International called for the "
immediate and unconditional
" release of the activists, describing their detention as "
On Wednesday, the spokesman for the Ivorian government, Amadou Coulibaly, described
the demonstration in which the opposition activists had participated as "
Wild demonstrations are not allowed, as in many countries.
Demonstrations are subject to declaration and anyone who violates this provision will suffer the rigors of the law
, ”he said after the Council of Ministers.
The government gave no instructions to arrest anyone
“, he added, specifying that the executive does not want to”
interfere in court decisions
Read alsoCrisis of 2010-2011 in Côte d'Ivoire: fifty bodies of victims returned to their families
Before these arrests and convictions, the political climate in Côte d'Ivoire had been easing for two years.
Legislative elections were held peacefully in March 2021 and opponents Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé returned to the country, after their acquittal by international justice on charges of crimes against humanity committed during the post-crisis. - 2010-2011 election.