Laurent Gbagbo and other detainees visited by ICRC

22-07-2011 News Release 11/152

Geneva/Abidjan (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has just completed a series of visits to people held in detention facilities or under house arrest. Among those visited was Laurent Gbagbo, the former president of Côte d'Ivoire.

The visits took place from 18 to 21 July in Bouna, Boundiali, Katiola, Korhogo and Odienné, in the north of the country.

"Gaining access to everyone arrested in connection with the post-electoral crisis has always been a priority for the ICRC. With the agreement of the Ivorian government, the visits were conducted in accordance with the ICRC's customary working procedures. These include private interviews with detainees," said Dominique Liengme, the head of the ICRC delegation in Abidjan. "We will continue to visit people held in all temporary and permanent places of detention in the country to make sure they are treated humanely."

Since 1998, ICRC delegates have conducted regular visits to people detained in Côte d'Ivoire to assess the conditions in which they are being held. The ICRC's findings, recommendations and concerns are shared confidentially with the detaining authorities with a view to ensuring that detainees are treated properly. The ICRC also arranges for the exchange of family news between detainees and their relatives and, if necessary, distributes medical items and other essential supplies to detainees.

Since the beginning of the year, the ICRC has conducted some 100 visits in 60 temporary and permanent places of detention throughout the territory of Côte d'Ivoire. In the course of these visits the cases of over 500 detainees have been monitored on an individual basis.

For further information, please contact:
Kelnor Panglungtshang, ICRC Abidjan, tel: +225 22 40 00 70
Marçal Izard, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 24 58 or +41 79 217 32 24