ICRC says I.Coast prison conditions 'problematic'

14th January 2011, Comments 0 comments

The international Red Cross said Friday that it has visited more than 370 people detained over Ivory Coast's post-election crisis, and expressed concern at the "problematic" humanitarian situation.

"Unfortunately, the nutritional situation of detainees in many prisons in Ivory Coast as well as their access to medical care remains problematic, or even critical in some places," said Valerie Aubert, who coordinates visits by Red Cross officials to detainees.

"The problem is chronic and aggravated by certain dysfunctions in the system," she said in an interview published on the website of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

"The ICRC remains very concerned by all these humanitarian problems," she added.

Since recent political turmoil in Ivory Coast began end-November, ICRC staff have visited "more than 370 detainees and have made more than 300 telephone calls in order to notify the families of the situation of their close ones" said Aubert.

Ivory Coast was plunged into a political crisis after strongman Laurent Gbagbo's refusal to stand down despite a vote which the Independent Electoral Commission and UN said his rival Alassane Ouattara won.

© 2011 AFP

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