The news was made public on 21 December 2023. Élisabeth Borne, Prime Minister of the French government, cancelled the extradition decree signed by her predecessor Édouard Philippe in March 2020 and validated by the Council of State on 30 July 2021. This decision was shortly followed by the lifting of the judicial supervision order, thereby restoring François Compaoré’s complete freedom.

After the validation of July 2021, François Compaoré’s lawyers appealed to the ECHR (European Council of Human Rights). Its verdict, on 7 September 2023, stated: “The Court concludes that there would be a violation of Article 3 of the Convention [1] in its procedural aspect if the extradition decree were to be implemented without a prior review of the validity and reliability of the diplomatic assurances provided by Burkina Faso”. We emphasise the second part of this sentence, which is never quoted by most of the media in France, yet which sets out a condition before asserting a violation of Article 3. In the same press release, the Court asked France to re-examine the case, adding that the current government of Burkina Faso had not responded to the observations sent to it on 19 October 2022 by the ECHR. The CNPNZ (Centre national de presse Norbert Zongo) condemned this serious oversight in a press release, while the Burkinabe government defended itself in a statement by saying that it had not received any request from the French government.

In reality, France’s decision was due to a deterioration in diplomatic relations rather than a deterioration in the treatment of the detainees. There have been no exchanges between the French government and the Burkinabe government since this press release. For example, Gilbert Diendéré, convicted of an attempted putsch in 2015 and the assassination of Thomas Sankara, is being held in good conditions, as anyone familiar with Burkina Faso can easily see. According to our information, he is even sometimes granted leave.

Having removed Blaise Compaoré from the jurisdiction of Burkina Faso, the French authorities have now decided to remove François Compaoré from the jurisdiction of his own country. A country that calls itself democratic cannot allow a person charged with “inciting to murder” a journalist in the exercise of his profession to escape.

The International Network Justice for Thomas Sankara, Justice for Africa strongly protests against this decision, and calls on the press and democratic forces in France to do likewise.

Done on 8 January 2024 in Niamey, Lorient, Paris, Ottawa, Toulouse, Bamako, Banfora, Bobo Dioulasso, Ouagadougou, Barcelona, Turin, Las Palmas, Dakar, Grenoble, Sabadell, Ajaccio, Nîmes, Brussels, Liège.

The international network Justice for Thomas Sankara, Justice for Africa

Contact: contactjusticepoursankara at


[1This article stipulates that there can be no extradition if the accused could suffer ill-treatment, torture or be sentenced to death.


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