Interview by Alex Raymond-Loukou [9/8/2008]
Mr. Ekissi, Secretary General of PCRCI
On Wednesday, August 13, 2008, the Revolutionary Communist Party of the Ivory Coast will hold the fourth commemoration of the assassination of one of its members, Abib Dodo. Before this important ceremony to be held at Adjame City Hall, the Secretary General of that party Mr. Achy Ekissi agreed to an interview with us.
Mr. SG, what special significance do you give to this fourth commemoration of the death of Abib Dodo?
The fourth commemoration of the death of Abib Dodo is a call to mobilize all democrats, defenders of human rights and revolutionaries, to firmly take up the fight against impunity for political crimes. Indeed, since September 2002, people living in Ivory Coast have been killed, not on military battlefields but in their homes or in secret. Some of these crimes have been taken to court. But so far in no case has there been a start of a solution.
Four years have passed since then and the justice system has still not found the perpetrator of the murder. Do you believe that things will improve?
We are convinced that without political pressure the case will be dismissed, unless the government is replaced by one that respects human rights. It should be noted that the case of Abib Dodo is not an isolated one. All those accused of being “rebels” have been killed and experienced the same fate.
Last year, on the occasion of this same ceremony, you have pointed at FESCI [High School and University Federation of the Ivory Coast] as the main perpetrator of the assassination. Do you still hold this position?
Yes, we hold this position and are even more convinced that government is dragging its feet to bring the accused to trial.
Kuyo Serge, the former Secretary General of the FESCI, whom your party has strongly suspected of being behind that assassination, was killed in an accident. Can we say that justice has been served?
No! Justice has not been served. The justice that we demand is the justice of the republic and not divine justice. We do not call, nor do we wish for the death of the accused. We demand that they be tried and punished under the law of the republic.
Do you really think that justice can contribute to the demonstration of the truth when we know that FESCI has always been called secular arm of the government in office?
Justice that is supposedly independent in a State of law should be able to contribute to the demonstration of the truth. The fact that FESCI is a member of CNRD [National Congress of Resistance for Democracy] that is in office does not authorize justice to close the case. Otherwise it is one more demonstration of the fact that we are in an autocracy where justice is only at the service of the government in office.
Abib was also a member of FESCI. Don’t you think he was the victim of a settling of accounts?
Abib was a member of the FESCI until 2001. Since then, Abib was no longer a member of that organization. We believe that he was assassinated because he contributed to the birth of the AGEECI [General Association of Students of the Ivory Coast], another organization of students that denounces the FESCI for its links with the government, which tramples the freedoms of the students underfoot, which turns its back on the demands of the students.
What will be the exact content of this day of commemoration?
The event will take stock of freedom in the Ivory Coast, of cases of political crimes including that of Abib. In addition, a film about political crimes will be shown. Finally, a petition to demand justice, the application process of the case to be adopted will be sent to the Ministry of Justice and the prosecutor.
Have human rights organizations been associated with this event?
This event is organized jointly by the PCRCI, the MIDH [Ivorian Movement for Human Rights] and AGEECI. The AGEECI will deal with the student freedoms, the MIDH the cases of political crimes and the PCRCI the case of Abib.
Have you gone before international courts in the case of Dodo Abib?
No, we have not gone before international courts. But if the Ivorian justice system does not respond we will be obliged to go before international courts.
Are you launching an appeal?
The appeal we are making is that the people of the Ivory Coast should know that the State of law is built through struggle. These struggles are organized around case Congress of injustice, of violations of human rights, of political and economic crimes. Ivory Coast is far from being a State of law, and we all have a duty to struggle to break all resistance, to denounce all perpetrators of political crimes and to demand that our justice be fair and at the service of the republic.
Translation by us of a French text found in: http://www.rezoivoire.net/interview/article/106/m-ekissi-secretaire-general-du-pcrci-la-cote-d-ivoire-est-loin-d-etre-un-etat-de-droit.html
Thanks cmd. George G for his corrections