The College of Lyon withdraws the honorary title “Physician” given to the previous dictator president of Burkina Faso.

18 years after Blaise Compaore, who was sentenced to life in prison for the assassination of Thomas Sankara, was awarded the title of Doctor Honoris Causa, the University of Lyon 3 wants to reconsider the distinction.

In 2004, Blaise Compaoré was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the prestigious Jean Moulin University, also known as Lyon 3.

former dictator of Burkina Faso”among others, he was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Thomas Sankara. It was decided “so Lyon university” washes away the insult It has benefited the people of Burkina Faso as well as the values ​​of the university,” Éric Carpano, director of Lyon 3, explains in a press release.

The former president of Burkina Faso, Blaise Compaore, was sentenced in absentia on April 6 by the military tribunal of Ouagadougou. He was found guilty of, among others, “undermining state security”, “concealing a dead body” and “complicity in murder” in the context of the assassination of Thomas Sankara on 15 October 1987 and the coup that enabled it. gain strength.

The reputation of the University of Lyon 3 has already been tarnished in several cases. Historically, accusations of Holocaust denial and the influence of certain radical groups have given it the image of a “right-wing, even far-right college.” Recently, the problems of racism and harassment have been condemned by UNEF. Since 2004, UNEF was one of the unions that condemned the honorary election of Blaise Compaore by Lyon 3 and called for a demonstration against this decision at the time. At that time, in a letter addressed to the president of the university, the student union was already interested:

“Which elements could allow the university to award an honorary degree to the person responsible for this kind of mismanagement, accompanied by an increase in human rights violations, contrary to the people raised as a man under the slogan “enough is enough” since the end of 1998. “?”

On September 19, 2022, two distinguished law professors were awarded the title of “honorary doctorate” of the University of Lyon 3.

Johannes MASING

Studied law, philosophy and music majors, Professor of constitutional law at the University of Freiburg im Breisgau, former judge of the Federal Constitutional Court of Karlsruhe Former director of the Department of Environmental Law at his university between 2008 and 2020.

The main focus of his work is on the protection of fundamental rights and, more generally, an analysis of the interrelationship of various human rights protections at national, European and international levels.

Philippe Sands

Law professor and lawyer Philip Sands is committed to protecting human rights, is one of the pioneers in the affirmation of international justice and the definition of the crime of ecocide. Recently, he was one of the first international lawyers to call for the creation of a special criminal court to try the crime of aggression against Ukraine.


In a press release, M Carpano notes that “What was unacceptable in 2004 has become worse today.” and “Jean Moulin University has seriously failed in these values ​​by awarding it on April 23, 2004.“The name of Blaise Compaoré, man” a symbol of Francophonie, which has enslaved its people for years and been misdirected by the neo-colonialism of ‘Françafrique'”. The decision to withdraw his title will be submitted to the next administrative council of the university.

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