A popular television broadcaster, Yves de M’Bella, has been fined $3,600 with a suspended one-year sentence for promoting rape on a live broadcast in Ivory Coast.
M’Bella had during the controversial live show on Monday invited a man described as an ex-rapist to demonstrate on a mannequin how he assaulted women.
The segment of the programme, broadcast at primetime on a private TV channel, NCI was supposed to be about condemning sexual assault.
But M’Bella appeared to laugh and joke as he helped Traoré lay the mannequin on the floor. Afterwards the guest was invited to give women advice on how to avoid being raped.
BBC, however, reported that following public outcry through an online petition that got nearly 50,000 signatures by Wednesday evening, the popular TV host was axed from the show.
He was suspended from TV and radio while Women’s Affairs Minister Nassénéba Touré said his broadcast had undermined efforts to eradicate rape in the country.
M’Bella was subsequently charged to court and fined $3,600 (£2,600) with a suspended 1 year imprisonment.
He was also prevented from leaving the country’s main city, Abidjan, the Reuters news agency reports, quoting an official.
In the same vein, the guest of the show, Kader Traoré, was sentenced to two years in prison and fined $900, also for promoting rape on a live show.
That notwithstanding, a considerable number of disgruntled Ivorians had voiced out, saying M’Bella deserves a harsher sentence including prison time for what they described as the trivialisation of rape.
In Ivory Coast, rape cases are often not reported by victims over fear of backlash and stigmatisation.
Many have also argued that rape cases are always difficult to prove in a court.