Imprisoned in Italy, Singer Rokia Traoré Awaits Her Fate

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Rokia Traoré

Since Thursday, June 20th, internationally acclaimed singer Rokia Traoré has been behind bars. The reason for her incarceration stems from a custody dispute with Belgian theater director Jan Goossens over their nine-year-old daughter. In 2023, a Belgian court sentenced Traoré to two years in prison for failing to hand over her child to the legal custodian.

According to sources close to the singer, Traoré has already had two meetings with her Italian lawyer. This morning, she was expected to receive a visit from the Malian ambassador to Italy and her defense attorney at the Civitavecchia prison, where she has been held since her arrest on Friday at Rome’s Fiumicino Airport.

The artist has been incarcerated at this detention center, located about a hundred kilometers from Rome, since her apprehension. Following her 2023 conviction by the Belgian judiciary, a European arrest warrant was issued against her. Traoré asserts that this legal predicament has severely restricted her ability to travel globally, significantly impacting her career.

Meanwhile, Jan Goossens’ lawyer has stated that his client proposed a “new family agreement” aimed at reconciling their differing views on their daughter’s custody. However, according to the Belgian attorney, Traoré rejected this proposal.

Rokia Traoré is scheduled to appear before the Rome Court of Appeal on Tuesday, July 2, where a decision will be made regarding her release or continued detention.


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