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Ivorian lawyers denounce "conspiracy" against activist

Lawyers representing Ivorian activist Pulcherie Gbalet   -  
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Ivory Coast

Lawyers representing Ivorian activist Pulcherie Gbalet have denounced her latest detention as a plot to silence her.

The arrests follow a trip to Mali where 49 Ivorian soldiers have been detained since July 10th.

On Wednesday the Ivorian prosecution accused Gbalet of "colluding with foreign agents" with the aim of discrediting the state.

Pulcherie Gbalet's lawyer, Eric Saki, denounced the accusation.

"We find it curious that a deputy (MP Amara Fofana, ed.) from our republic goes out on social networks, and uses terms that can be interpreted as threats. And only a few hours later the Public Prosecutor initiates proceedings against her. We definitely believe this is a conspiracy", said Saki.

During her stay in Mali, Pulcherie Gbalet met with NGO leaders and people close to the military junta in power since August 2020 in that country, discussing with them the fate of the 49 Ivorian soldiers.

Considered as "mercenaries", these soldiers have been charged by the Malian justice system, notably for "attempting to undermine the external security of the state".

Abidjan asserts that they were on a mission for the UN and has demanded their release.

Pulchérie Gbalet, who is close to the opposition to President Alassane Ouattara, was imprisoned for eight months between August 2020 and April 2021 for demonstrating and calling for demonstrations against the head of state's candidacy for a new term in the October 2020 presidential election.

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