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Amnesty International is concerned about the fate of hundreds of prisoners

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                The NGO expresses its concern about the fate of those arrested during the electoral unrest in Côte d'Ivoire between August and October 2020.

                                    <p><span><span><span>According to an investigation conducted by Amnesty International last month, and on which it communicated this Friday, March 26, at least 300 people were put in prison between August 2020, <strong>start of demonstrations</strong> against the third term of<strong>'Alassane Ouattara</strong> and <strong>the presidential election in October. </strong></span></span></span>

Most were caught red-handed, but are still in pre-trial detention. ” Many don’t even no lawyer, have not seen a judge, explains Samira Daoud, Director for West and Central Africa at Amnesty International. The conditions are very difficult. Abidjan prison is chronically overcrowded. There are almost 8 000 people detained in 2020, for a prison with a capacity of 1 500 people. »

Overpopulation in particular due to ” systematic use of pre-trial detention. Half of the 8 000 people who were detained at Maca in 2020 were in pre-trial detention ”, specifies the head of the NGO.

« A form of punishment ”

The case of these detainees highlights the systematic use of pre-trial detention by the Ivorian courts. ” There is a real structural problem. There is a tendency to consider that, somewhere, pre-trial detention is like a form of punishment, even before the trial. Which is totally contrary to the principles of law ”, adds Samira Daoud.

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According to the NGO, the time for procedures must be accelerated. ” Most of these people should have been tried in flagrante delicto, she emphasizes. Or at least allow these people to be released and to appear free, if they were to appear before a judge one day. »

Read also: Fragile calm in Ivorian cities after sporadic unrest


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