African rights court holds session on Burkinabe journalist’s murder

posted in: Africa

Norbert Zongo Memorial in Burkina Faso


Dar es Salaam, Tanzania – The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights will hold a two-day public hearing next week on the alleged 1998 assassination of Burkinabe journalist Norbert Zongo and three other persons, the Court said Monday.

Beneficiaries of the deceased and the Burkinabe Movement for Human and Peoples’ Rights are seeking settlement of the disputed conclusion of the murder case by the judicial system of Burkina Faso.

For two days starting 28 Nov., lawyers representing the Government of the Republic of Burkina Faso will argue the case before the African human rights court in Arusha, Tanzania, while the applicants will be represented by Messrs. Anselm Odinkalu Chidi and Ibrahima Kané.

According to the Court, the application relates to the alleged assassination of Norbert Zongo and his companions — Abdoulaye Nikiema alias Ablassé, Ernest Zongo, Blaise Ilboudo – and the Burkinabe Movement for Human and Peoples’ Rights.

In addition, the applicants claim violation of Articles 1, 2, 3, 4, 7 and 9 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Articles 2 (3), 14 and 19 (2) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and Article 8 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the Republic of Burkina Faso.

The Court has invited members of the public and the media to attend the hearing, which will also be streamed (audio) online at www.livestream/afchpr from 10:00 am local time (07:00GMT).

Zongo was publisher and editor of l’Indépendant newspaper in Burkina Faso and, according to reports, he was assassinated after the paper started investigating the murder of David Ouedraogo, a driver who worked for President Blaise Campaore’s brother.

An Independent Commission of Inquiry later concluded that Zongo was killed for purely political reasons because of his investigative work into the death of Ouedraogo.