Côte d’Ivoire: Musician sentenced to 12 months of prison for insulting the president

26 August 2020
Ivorian musician SKelly was arrested for insulting President on social media, reported Presse Cote d'Ivoire. The artist was then sentenced.
Image: Skelly / Skelly Taregue on Facebook


14 August: Ivorian musician SKelly was released after being arrested, prosecuted and sentenced for insulting President Alassane Ouattara in a video uploaded on social media, reported the Presse Cote d’Ivoire. 

According to Linfodrome, the musician criticised the corrupt regime in place led by the party of President Ouattara. “Tell mister (Ouattara) to avoid the third or fourth term. At 80, you have to find out how to get back to Paradise. Old man, you are a dumb … and you will remain a dumb … “, said SKelly in the video.

SKelly was arrested based on the Article 243 of the Ivorian penal code, which states that “anyone who offends the President of the Republic is punished by three months to two years of imprisonment and a fine of 300,000 to 3,000,000 F DWI or one of the two penalties only”.The artist has later been prosecuted and sentenced to 12 months of prison with a fine of 200,000 CFA francs (circa 305 euros). His case was pleaded by several local artists, and SKelly was released on 14 August.

After a few days of his detention, the musician got his cell phone back and posted the following message on Twitter: “Good evening, guys. I was given my phone, but the cell I’m in, there are too many mosquitoes. Ask forgiveness, they will release me. I am no longer crazy”. 

“We have one of our own who had a slip and is incarcerated in the civil prison in Bouaké. We, therefore, on behalf of the cultural players, apologised to the Prime Minister to pass them on to the President of the Republic and ask for his clemency so that he is released (…) we hope that this will lead to his release,” pleaded Asalfo, vocalist of the famous band Magic System and leader of the collective of artists, according to Afrique sur 7.

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