ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast—Yves de Mbella, a television presenter in Ivory Coast was convicted yesterday–Wednesday, September 1, for glorifying rape and given a one-year suspended prison sentence for asking a convicted rapist he invited to his prime-time show to stimulate a sexual assault using a Mannequin.
The presenter was also fined, 2 million CFA francs ($3,619.91) and banned from leaving Abidjan, the country’s commercial capital, for one year by the court.
De Mbella laughingly encouraged his TV guest, a man presented as a former rapist, to use a mannequin to demonstrate how he abused his victims.
De Mbella helped his guest to lay the dummy on the ground and asked him to explain in detail how he raped his victims.
At the end of the demonstration, the interviewed man was encouraged to give women advice on how to avoid being raped.
The programme, broadcasted by the private Nouvelle Chaine Ivorienne caused an online uproar that saw 50,000 signatures being signed calling for de Mbella’s show to be cancelled.
Ivory Coast’s audiovisual authority (HACA) suspended the host for 30 days from all radio and television stations. He has also been barred from hosting the Miss Ivory Coast Beauty Pageant, set for Saturday.
De Mbella has apologized for the segment and said he had been trying to raise awareness.
About 10 Women gathered outside the Tv station demanding it to set aside time to give voice to rape victims and raise public awareness about sexual violence. The protest was live-streamed on social media, where many furious users denounced the programme.
The head of an association of rape victims, Benedicte Joan, said the sanctions against de Mbella were not enough.
“De Mbella should never again appear on our screens,” she said.
Ivory Coast has no official statistics on rape, but evidence shows that the crime is widespread.