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TV Network In Ivory Coast Aired Convicted Sex Offender Performing ‘Rape Demonstration’

A television channel in Ivory Coast is under fire for broadcasting a program that showcased a “rape demonstration.”

Yves de M’Bella, the host of local TV channel Nouvelle Chaîne Ivoirienne (NCI), brought on a guest last Monday who was a self-confessed and convicted rapist to demonstrate the ways he would rape women using a mannequin.

While making jokes, Traoré Kader was asked if some of the women enjoyed the act as he also revealed what a “successful rape” consisted of. Kader and the host also shared tips on how women can avoid getting raped. 

“I wasn’t really shocked, because I see it all the time. We are immersed in rape culture,” Bintou Traoré, the communication lead at Women’s Rights League, said, according to QZ. 

M’Bella has since been suspended from the network, and he and the guest have both been reprimanded with fines. 

The court fined Kader and M’Bella $900 and $3,600, respectively, and they are both facing time in prison.

After airing, the broadcast sparked fierce backlash among the Ivorian community, with many condemning the actions of M’Bella and Kader.

“Please tell me I’m dreaming,” Priss’K, an Ivorian rapper, wrote on Facebook, Al Jazeera reported. “It’s disgusting, unacceptable, disrespectful, especially towards women. Rape is so degrading and dehumanising for the victim.”

A Change.org petition was also created in the wake of the televised demonstration, calling for the show to be canceled and for “its presenting team, headed by Yves de M’Bella, to be sanctioned.” The petition has since garnered over 50,000 signatures. 

In June, a non-governmental organization (NGO) called CPDEFM, which campaigns for the rights of children, women and minorities, investigated the number of rape incidents and found that from 2019 to 2020, 416 women had been killed in Abidjan alone.

The organization also identified 2,000 cases of violence against women, including 1,290 marriages of girls younger than 18 and 1,121 rapes.

“I strongly condemn these despicable acts and these words of the guest and the host, which undermine the efforts of the government, NGOs and other anonymous actors working on policies to eradicate this scourge,” Nassénéba Touré, the minister of women, family and children, wrote in a Facebook post.

Since the incident, NCI has issued an apology stating it is committed “to respecting human rights and in particular those of women,” and expressing its “solidarity with women who are victims of violence and abuse of all kinds.”

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