Africa: For encouraging rape during a live broadcast, a popular television broadcaster in Ivory Coast received a 12-month suspended sentence.
Yves de M’Bella had invited a man who was characterised as an ex-rapist to demonstrate how he had abused women on a mannequin. M’Bella was suspended from television and radio as a result of the widespread outcry.
Nassénéba Touré, the Minister of Women’s Affairs, said the broadcast had harmed efforts to end rape.
According to the Reuters news agency, the court punished the broadcaster with $3,600 (£2,600) and barred him from leaving the country’s capital, Abidjan.
Kader Traoré, the visitor, was also sentenced to two years in prison and a $900 fine for inciting rape. He told the court, however, that he had previously been convicted of theft rather than rape.
According to the AFP news agency, the section of the show, which aired at primetime on a private TV station, was supposed to be about condemning sexual assault.
M’Bella, on the other hand, looked to be laughing and joking as he assisted Traoré in placing the mannequin on the floor. Following that, the visitor was asked to give advice to ladies on how to prevent being raped.
“As a survivor, it was really difficult to observe this situation,” said Bénédicte Joan Ouamba, who works against gender-based violence.
Some argue that M’Bella should have received a harsher sentence, including prison time, for what they consider to be the misapplication of rape. Victims of rape in the country generally do not report their crimes for fear of being humiliated, and they are discouraged from filing charges because they are difficult to prove in court.
According to Reuters, M’Bella, who is from Cameroon, apologized for the broadcast, admitting that he had “made an error” while attempting to raise awareness about rape. NCI has also expressed regret.
Although there is no official data on rapes in Ivory Coast, an Ivorian NGO discovered that 2,000 incidences of violence against women were reported in 2019 and 2020, including 1,121 rapes.