Today marks the deadline given by the European Court of Human Rights to France by which they must ensure against the possibility of torture for Francois Compaore.
The brother of Burkina Faso’s ex-President Blaise Compaore was arrested in France in 2017 in connection to the murder of investigative journalist Norbert Zongo back in 1998. Despite previously rejecting the possibility of extradition, France ruled last Friday to extradite Compaore back to Burkina Faso, a decision celebrated by the Burkinabe government. Compaore pled his case against extradition suggesting that he may face torture upon return.
Expect surface-level commitments to be made on both the French and Burkinabe side in accordance with the demands of the European Court of Human Rights. The French have already given their assurance by clearing the extradition and the Burkinabe justice system has since released a statement stressing Compaore will not face cruel and unusual punishment. However, once Compaore is returned to Burkina Faso, it is unclear how the French will maintain responsibility and oversight regarding his treatment at the hands of a regime that ardently sought his extradition. Despite his legal team continuing to urge restraint, the ruling will likely come as a victory for independent journalism across West Africa.
Ali is a Copy-Editor and Analyst on Daily Brief team, contributing regularly to the Daily Brief. He also leads the Foreign Brief Week in Review multimedia team. He focuses on political and development issues in the Middle East and North Africa.