Saturday, 31 October, 2020

Rokia Traoré: Paris court releases Mali singer but backs extradition

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Rokia Traoré went on hunger strike at Fleury-Mérogis jail

A Paris appeals courtroom has conditionally released the Malian singer Rokia Traoré but stated she can be extradited to Belgium above a youngster custody dispute.

Ms Traoré was detained at Charles de Gaulle airport on 10 March by police performing on a Belgian arrest warrant.

Adhering to the court ruling, her lawyers vowed to contest the extradition.

Previous yr a Belgian courtroom purchased Ms Traoré to hand in excess of her five-calendar year-outdated daughter to her estranged former partner, a Belgian national.

The Belgian warrant accuses her of kidnapping and hostage-taking.

The Paris courtroom was instructed that travel restrictions imposed for the reason that of the coronavirus pandemic meant an extradition could not go in advance at the second.

“Under the instances, we are not able to organise Ms Traoré’s transfer to the Belgian authorities,” the court’s advocate normal explained.

The singer’s attorney, Kenneth Feliho, reported they would attractiveness to France’s top court and the European Court docket of Human Rights “if we have to”. “The struggle with the Belgian judiciary will go on.”

Ms Traoré is 1 of Africa’s very best acknowledged vocalists and grew to become a goodwill ambassador for the UN’s Significant Commissioner for Refugees in 2015 in West and Central Africa.

Addressing the courtroom by video clip from the jail where by she was being detained, she confirmed newspaper stories that she had been on hunger strike and additional: “Even nevertheless I stay in Mali, I have often responded to Belgian authorized authorities.”

When Ms Traoré was arrested she was travelling from Bamako to Brussels in which she supposed to attraction versus the final decision of the Belgian court docket to grant comprehensive custody to her former companion, her legal professionals said.

Earlier this thirty day period, Mali’s authorities issued a statement in assistance of the singer declaring that she has a diplomatic passport. A petition contacting for her release was signed by far more than 30,000 individuals.

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