The trial of former Ivorian first lady Simone Gbagbo for crimes against humanity has started amid protests by human right groups.
The groups representing nearly 250 victims said they won’t take part in the trial saying it was a ‘mockery to justice’.
One of the complaints is the fact that the charges she is facing are said to have been committed by a group and she is the only one standing trial.
They have cited an incomplete investigation into her role in abuses and breached of Cote’dvoire criminal procedure in the preparation for the trial.
Other activists also say Simone should have stood trial at The Hague. However, Ivory Coast Prime Minister Daniel Kablan Duncan has said Simone will not be transferred to the ICC to face war crimes charges.
The ICC has issued an arrest warrant against her in 2012 and the case remains in the pre-trial stage to this day.
Simone is currently serving a twenty-year jail sentence after being found guilty by an Ivorian court in March of undermining state security.
On 11 December 2014, the Pre-Trial Chamber I of the ICC rejected the challenge to the admissibility of the case against Simone and reminded the Ivory Coast of its obligation to surrender her to the ICC without delay.
More than 1,000 people were killed in the violence that ensued when her husband Laurent Gbagbo refused to relinquish power after losing an election. Amnesty International maintains that the Ivorian authorities should reconsider their refusal to comply with their obligation to surrender her to the International ICC pursuant to an arrest warrant against her on charges of crimes against humanity. Gbagbo and his ally Charles Blé Goudé, former leader of a militant youth group, are currently on trial before the ICC for crimes against humanity in relation to the post-election violence.