Ivory Coast frees 4 activists accused of ”inciting revolt” et al


Pulcherie Gbalet, president of an organization known as the Alternative Ivorian citizen (ACI), with closed links to the opposition in Ivory Coast, was released Wednesday night, her lawyer said.

Ms. Gbalet was arrested in August 2020 and imprisoned at the Abidjan House of Arrest and Correction facility.

She was “charged with inciting revolt, calling for an insurrection, disturbing public order, violence and assault.’’

Gbalet’s organization was among opposition and civil society groups that called on protesters to march against a third term bid for President Alassane Ouattara.

According to an official report, the protest degenerated into violence over three days.

The report said the event led to “six deaths, a hundred injured, 1,500 internally displaced persons, 69 people arrested, as well as a great deal of material damage.”

Her lawyer, Lambert Kouamé Béné, who was pleased with the release, however said his client should not have gone to prison for her alleged role in the incident.

Three other collaborators were also freed.

President Ouattara was re-elected in October 2020 for a controversial third term, in a vote boycotted by the opposition, which had called for “civil disobedience.

The election led to a violent electoral crisis that left around 100 people dead and half a thousand injured between August and November 2020.

Tensions have since subsided, however, as the March legislative elections were held peacefully and with the participation of the main opposition parties.