Ivory Coast frees dozens of people detained over election violence

Outtara announced the liberation of the detainees in a televised speech
Outtara announced the liberation of the detainees in a televised speech © Macline Hien, Reuters

Judicial authorities in Ivory Coast have freed dozens of people arrested during a violence-marred presidential election last year, President Alassane Ouattara said on Friday.


Roughly 100 people died in violence linked to the election last October, which saw Ouattara voted in for a third term.

Opposition candidates boycotted the vote, saying the constitution limited presidents to two terms in office.

“I note the release under judicial supervision or provisional freedom of 69 accused detainees following the events of the October 2020 presidential election,” Ouattara said in a televised speech.

He added that he had granted pardons to nine people convicted of offences committed during the same events.

“The examination of the situation of other people still detained is continuing,” he said.

Prosecutors said in April that 102 people were still being held over the violence, suggesting roughly 20 people remain in custody.

Opposition leaders Laurent Gbagbo and Henri Konan Bedie, both former presidents, had requested the prisoner release.

Gbagbo had asked for more than 100 people to be freed, including some who were involved in another bout of election-related violence during 2010 and 2011.

He argued that the detainees were political prisoners.


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