The Swiss-based International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) says it has visited the ousted Ivory Coast president, Laurent Gbagbo, in detention for the first time.
The ICRC had previously struggled to get access to Gbagbo, under house arrest, his family and his collaborators. The meeting with Gbagbo took place from July 18-21 during a series of visits to people in detention or under house arrest in the north of the country.
ICRC's head of delegation in Abidjan, Dominique Liengme, said the visits included private interviews with the detainees.
He added that the group would continue such detainee visits “to make sure they are treated humanely”.
The former president was arrested on April 11 after a four-month crisis stemming from his refusal to acknowledge defeat in favour of Alassane Ouattara in November’s presidential elections. He has yet to be formally charged with a crime.
Since the beginning of the year, the ICRC has carried out some 100 visits to permanent and temporary sites of detention in Ivory Coast, checking on the condition of 500 detainees.
swissinfo.ch and agencies