In Côte d’Ivoire, a former rapist explained during a television program supposed to denounce the rape how he went about abusing his victims. The sequence sparked outrage in the country. The channel apologized.
A TV show supposedly denouncing the rape and featuring a complacent former rapist, host and audience sparked outrage in Côte d’Ivoire on August 31. The day before at the end of the afternoon, at prime time, the private television New Ivorian Channel (NCI), created in 2019, broadcasts live and in public its program “La Télé ici vacances”, dedicated to rape and presented by host Yves de M’Bella.
The host invited a man whom he presents as a former rapist and whom he asks to explain how he went about abusing his victims. To better illustrate the words of the ex-rapist, the host, laughing in front of a mocking audience, provides him with a mannequin that he helps him to lay on the ground and then asks him to explain in great detail how he raped a woman. The ex-rapist is then invited by Yves de M’Bella to give his “advice” to a woman so as not to be raped.
Warning: the video below may offend the sensitivity
🛑Yves De Mbela vigorously criticized tonight on social networks for this SURREALIST scene featuring A SIMULATION OF RAPE in the show “la Télé d’Ici Vacances” on NCI
Your opinions ? pic.twitter.com/jtPQcJ0mqG
– The Ivory Coast Is Chic 🇨🇮 (@CotedIvoire_off) August 30, 2021
Rain of indignation on social networks
Barely finished, the show sparked outrageous reactions on social networks from Ivorian personalities and anonymous.
“Tell me that I am dreaming”, writes on Facebook Priss’K, artist and comedian. “It is disgusting, inadmissible, disrespectful, especially towards women. Rape is so degrading, dehumanizing for the victim ”.
Nassénéba Touré, Minister for Women, for his part condemned “firmly these despicable acts” which “come to undermine the efforts” to eradicate “this scourge. [le viol] that ruins the lives of thousands of women and girls ”.
In the same vein, the Ivorian League for Women’s Rights also condemned “with the utmost energy this program and its content that is humiliating and degrading for women” and recalls in a statement that “rape is a crime”.
Launched shortly after the broadcast of the program, a petition signed on August 31 by more than 37,500 people, addressed to the High Authority for Audiovisual Communication (Haca), to the Ministries of Communication and Youth, “deplores that television whose role is to educate is complicit in violence against women by giving a voice to a rapist. ”
NCI management and presenter apologize
The leadership of the NCI offered “its sincerest apologies” and expressed its “deep regrets” and “solidarity with women victims of violence and abuse of all kinds”. “We humbly assume full responsibility for this serious and regrettable fault from which we will draw all the consequences”.
In a press release, the Haca announces that it has decided to suspend Yves de M’Bella “for a period of 30 days from all the antennas of television and radio channels in Côte d’Ivoire”. She says the man on the show is a former detainee “convicted of rape, assault and battery.”
Yves de M’Bella told AFP “to understand the indignation of each other”, saying himself “bruised by the turn of events” before apologizing. A demonstration by women’s rights organizations is scheduled for September 1 in Abidjan against “the trivialization of violence against women”.
481 rape convictions during the 2018-2019 judicial year
There are no official statistics on rape in Côte d’Ivoire. For the 2018-2019 judicial year, the Ministry of Justice indicates that it has identified 481 cases of conviction for rape, but most sexual assaults are not the subject of complaints, according to women’s rights NGOs.
In a survey of 5,556 people published in June, the NGO Citizens for the Promotion and Defense of the Rights of Children, Women and Minorities (CPDEFM), identified in two years in the city of Abidjan 416 feminicides, 2,000 cases of violence against women, including 1,290 cases of the marriage of girls under 18 and 1,121 rapes.