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Gbagbo supporters rally petition for his release

Gbagbo supporters rally petition for his release

Ivory Coast

Ivorian ex president Laurent Gbagbo’s supporters launch a petition rallying for his release from the Hague.

An initiative by an Ivorian writer Bernard Dadie and former Togolese Prime Minister Joseph Kokou Koffigoh, aims to collect more than 20 million signatures to have Gbagbo freed from the Hague, where he remains locked up.

The writer told a press conference in Abidjan on Wednesday that the signatories will be carrying out a historic duty of conscience, by supporting and amplifying this vast movement of resistance against the imposture.

An excerpt of Dadie’s statement published on The Dawn read as follows:-

The exemplary mobilization through the world of men and women who love justice and freedom, individual opinion leaders or organized movements and associations among which we can count heads of states and government, all to denounce the iniquitous wrong done to President Laurent Gbagbo through his shameful deportation to the Hague, on November 29, 2011, remains constant, engaging and should be strongly welcomed and encouraged. Our duty is to respect every man and to uphold justice in all circumstances. We say thank you to all those, men and women who are on the go for the respect and the triumph of justice.

He also said that the campaign which is expected to go on for the next three months, will be a demonstration to the world that Laurent Gbagbo should not be at the ICC, but rather at home with his family.

The organisers of the campaign say that the petition will be launched on a digital platform, and will also be available through signing on physical printed forms, that will be distributed across the country.

The initiative will also seek to support Charles Ble Goude, former Ivorian Minister of Youth, who’s also been charged at the Hague with war crimes and crimes against humanity during the 2010 post election violence.