EXCLUDED – Absent for 24 hours, influencer Observateur Ebène is detained in Ivory Coast!

16 April 2024 / Radouan Kourak

The famous French-speaking Ivorian influencer Observateur Ébène has mysteriously disappeared from social networks for more than 24 hours. With his 1,2 million subscribers on Instagram and nearly 12 million daily viewers on Snapchat, where he shares his daily life and performs sketches in short videos that have gone viral, his disappearance has raised many questions. According to exclusive information obtained by Entrevue, Observateur Ébène is in detention in a prison in the suburbs of Abidjan.

Kouakou Amany, known as the Ebony Observer, finds himself at the heart of a legal controversy in Côte d'Ivoire, his country of origin, following a summons for a "hearing" at the Abidjan police station Monday April 15, 2024 at 10 a.m. According to sources, the accusations against him appear ambiguous, centered around the publication of a humorous video on Snapchat last October.

The incriminated Snapchat video, lasting 1 minute and 6 seconds, is a response to a subscriber's question, in which Observateur Ébène describes a certain Marie-Paul Adjé, a renowned Ivorian television personality, as a “bitch”. close to power.

The outcome of this summons was the provisional incarceration of Observateur Ébène, decided by the Public Prosecutor. This decision, described as unfair, abusive and an attack on individual freedom by his lawyer, is based on a procedure which appears to violate the legal principles in force in the country. Since Monday, he has been incarcerated at the Abidjan Prison and Correction Center (MACA).

An Amnesty International article from March 2021 highlights the alarming conditions of detention in this prison in Côte d'Ivoire. As of January 2020, MACA was overcrowded, with approximately 8 inmates in a prison designed for only 000 people. The NGO also pointed out the lack of hygiene, insufficient health care and permanent violence at MACA.

Contacted by Entrevue, Aurane Reihanian, the influencer's lawyer, indicates that the initial intention of the video was to target another person named Marie Dominique Akri and that the video, although containing insults, is part of the humorous register of man.

“The incriminating video dates from October, more than six months ago, making this procedure illegitimate. It is alleged that this investigation is further aimed at intimidating and restricting the freedom of expression of Mr. Observateur Ébène, who is today one of the most followed content creators in Africa. His videos, widely relayed on social networks, could be perceived as disturbing by certain circles, in particular those targeted by his criticisms or his satires,” specifies Aurane Reihanian.

The defense of Mr. Observateur Ébène expresses serious concerns regarding his conditions of detention and the potential violations of his rights and freedoms. It is recalled that everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty, in accordance with the fundamental principles of justice.

Observateur Ébène is also known in France, where he is a regular on the stages of Parisian comedy clubs. He has made several appearances on French television, notably in Touche pas à mon poste. He even indicated that Cyril Hanouna had allowed him to obtain regularization in France.