Press release

After François Compaoré’s extradition decree was signed on 5 March 2020, his lawyers lodged an appeal with the French Conseil d’Etat, which in turn validated the extradition decree on 30 July 2021. The lawyers then decided to take the case to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

Two years later, the Court has just announced its decision.

In a press release published on 7 September 2023, the ECHR found that the expected assurances had indeed been given by the government preceding the first coup d’état, that the government following the first coup d’état had reiterated these assurances, but that the government following the second coup d’état had not done so, nor had it responded to the observations sent to it by the ECHR on 19 October 2022.

The ECHR recognises that the conditions for extradition were originally met, but asks only that they be re-examined and then reconfirmed in the light of the political changes that have taken place since then.

Referring to the political instabiliies and the deterioration in diplomatic relations, the Court considers it necessary to “verify that the ‘host State’ concerned here (Burkina Faso) is indeed the one that will be bound to respect the assurances given on the day of the applicant’s surrender (the original undertaking, therefore), and asks France to re-examine the case, expressing surprise that it has not yet done so.

The “Justice for Sankara, Justice for Africa” network points out that for the people of Burkina Faso, the journalist Norbert Zongo is as much a reference point as Thomas Sankara. His murder, and the ensuing demand for justice, is emblematic of the fight for quality and freedom of the press.

We therefore call on the current government of Burkina Faso to respond promptly to the requests of the ECHR, so that the extradition can take effect as soon as possible. And we urge the French government to take all necessary steps to confirm the extradition quickly and to carry it out without delay.

Since 1998, Norbert Zongo’s family, the people of Burkina Faso and their press have been demanding truth and justice.
It is high time that the trial of his murderers and their accomplices began, so that they can finally be judged.
This rather forced intervention by the ECHR is only delaying justice to the detriment of human rights.

Signed in Paris on 11 September 2023 in Ouagadougou, Banfora, Dakar, Bamako, Niamey, Paris, Ottawa, Las Palmas, Ajaccio, Montpellier, Nîmes, Toulouse and Lorient.

The International Network Justice for Sankara Justice for Africa


A press release from the Norbert Zongo press centre can be found at


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