Human rights consultant Jean Marc Yao analyzes the shameful silence of Ivory Coast’s non-governmental organizations in the wake of multiple attacks in January by an anti-gay mob that shut down the headquarters of the LGBT-friendly anti-AIDS group Alternative CI. Published in English and in French.
Attack on the headquarters of Alternative Côte d’Ivoire:
Why has Ivorian civil society not spoken up?
Following the recent attacks on the headquarters of Alternative Côte d’Ivoire — the local non-governmental organization that fights against AIDS in local LGBT communities — you would expect that local human rights organizations and other members of Ivorian civil society would unanimously condemn this assault on freedom.
But no. The executive director of Alternative Côte d’Ivoire said he was contacted by the president of a coalition of Ivory Coast’s human rights advocates, but no public statement followed this contact. No NGO and no leader of the nation’s civil society stepped forth to publicly condemn this brutal attack .
This is a striking contrast to the strong reactions that came after the attack on the headquarters of the Ivorian League of Human Rights (LIDHO ) on May 21, 2007. An outburst of sharp, biting public criticisms followed that attack, which was exactly like the attacks on Alternative Côte d’Ivoire. In 2007, when LIDHO’s chief executive went to the scene to inspect the damage, the NGO was greeted with sympathetic words from the state about the disaster..
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