Singer Rokia Traoré released under judicial supervision before her return to Belgium
In the case concerning the custody of her daughter, the singer Rokia Traoré obtained, on Wednesday, a release under the control of French justice, pending her surrender to Belgium.
The Paris Court of Appeal ordered, Wednesday, March 25, the release under judicial control of the French-Malian singer Rokia Traoré, imprisoned in France under a European arrest warrant, linked to a dispute over the custody of her daughter.
The court approved the surrender of Rokia Traore to Belgian justice. But she decided to place her by then under judicial supervision, in accordance with the requisitions of the Advocate General.
“Given the situation, we cannot organize the surrender of Ms. Traoré to the Belgian authorities,” said the latter during the hearing, referring to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We will obviously go to the Court of Cassation and to the European Court of Human Rights if necessary” to contest this surrender, reacted to AFP his lawyer, Me Kenneth Feliho. “The fight with Belgian justice will continue,” he added.
The famous singer was arrested on March 10 at Paris Roissy airport when she got off a plane from Bamako, before being imprisoned.
She was the subject of a European arrest warrant issued by an investigating judge in Brussels, for “kidnapping, forcible confinement and hostage taking”, which stems from the failure to comply with a judgment rendered at the end of 2019 requiring Ms. Traoré to surrender of her 5-year-old daughter to her Belgian father, from whom Rokia Traoré is separated.
The singer contested from the start the decision of the Belgian justice to entrust the sole custody of the child to her father, according to Me Feliho. She appealed the trial judgment.
Given the sanitary measures observed to combat the Covid-19, Rokia Traoré appeared on videoconference on Wednesday before the Paris Court of Appeal. Sitting in a large prison room and wearing a gray sweater, she said she was on a hunger strike.
“Despite the fact that I live in Mali, I have always responded to Belgian justice,” she said, explaining having come to Europe “among others” to go to a hearing which was to be held in the part of his appeal.
“Ms. Traoré never wanted to evade Belgian justice, but it is impossible in her mind to hand over her daughter,” pleaded Me Feliho.
Rokia Traoré, singer and guitarist, is also known for her commitment to refugees and for having been appointed in 2016 as a goodwill ambassador by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).