Cote d’Ivoire

The following information is based on the Amnesty International Report 2021/22. This report documented the human rights situation in 149 countries in 2021, as well as providing global and regional analysis. It presents Amnesty International’s concerns and calls for action to governments and others. 


The authorities prevented peaceful gatherings from going ahead. Hundreds of protesters who were arrested in the context of the 2020 presidential elections were released, and investigations took place into violence during that period. The right to food was compromised as the price of basic necessities increased by 8.8%. The houses of thousands of people were demolished without alternative housing being provided. The government took measures to boost Covid-19 vaccination numbers. The National Assembly approved a law to remove the requirement for survivors of gender-based violence to pay for a medical certificate to file a complaint.


Between 21 January and 28 February, the government imposed a state of emergency to combat the Covid-19 pandemic. It was renewed in March until June, then extended in July until 30 September.

Parliamentary elections were held on 6 March, more than four months after the presidential elections in which Alassane Ouattara was re-elected president for a third term. In June, former prime minister Guillaume Soro was sentenced in his absence to life imprisonment for undermining national security.

Freedom of assembly

On 17 June, the day former president Laurent Gbagbo returned to Côte d’Ivoire after the ICC acquitted him on charges of crimes against humanity (see below, Right to truth, justice and reparation), the police used tear gas to disperse groups of his supporters throughout the day.

The police prevented a peaceful protest from going ahead on 21 July, basing its decision, in part, on health and safety issues related to the Covid-19 pandemic. The protest was organized by Initiative Citoyenne contre la Cherté de la Vie, a movement which had denounced the high cost of living.

Arbitrary arrests and detentions

In January, five women opposition members, who were arbitrarily arrested during a peaceful demonstration in August 2020 against president Ouattara’s candidacy, were released unconditionally after more than four months in detention.

In April, Pulchérie Edith Gbalet, president of the social justice organization Alternative Citoyenne Ivoirienne and her three colleagues, Gédéon Junior Gbaou, Aimé César Kouakou N’Goran and Cyrille Djehi Bi, were released from MACA central prison in Abidjan. The case against Pulchérie Edith Gbalet was pending at the end of the year. She was arbitrarily arrested on 15 August 2020 by masked men after she had called for peaceful demonstrations, and was charged with “compromising public order, participation in an insurrectionary movement, undermining the state’s authority, wilful destruction of public property and provoking a gathering”. About 100 others, also arrested during 2020 protests, were freed in April under interim release orders or under judicial supervision. The detainees had been held in appalling conditions with limited access to lawyers.1

On 17 June, tens of Laurent Gbagbo supporters were arbitrarily arrested for compromising public order when they gathered to welcome the former president back to the country. They were all subsequently released.

In August, on the eve of Independence Day, President Ouattara announced the conditional or provisional release of 69 more people and pardoned nine others who had opposed his candidacy.

Right to truth, justice and reparation

In January, the authorities began field investigations into the electoral violence committed between August and November 2020. In December, the public prosecutor presented the final report of the Special Investigations Unit which said that 273 people were suspected of committing crimes; 233 of them had already been apprehended, most of whom were provisionally released or subjected to judicial supervision, while 11 remained in pretrial detention.

In March, the ICC acquitted Laurent Gbagbo and the former minister of youth Charles Blé Goudé of all charges of crimes against humanity. They had been tried in connection with alleged crimes committed during the 2010-2011 post-election violence. In July, the ICC lifted an arrest warrant against the former first lady, Simone Gbagbo, issued in connection with charges of crimes against humanity allegedly carried out during the same period.

On 15 April, an Abidjan court found former militia leader Amadé Ouérémi guilty of crimes against humanity for acts committed during the 2011 post-electoral violence.

Right to health

The government began its Covid-19 vaccination programme in March. It responded to the low vaccination take-up with an awareness-raising campaign, and in July set up 12 mobile clinics in Abidjan to boost access to vaccines. On 8 September, the government announced that it would permit the use of a mixture of Covid-19 vaccinations in order to increase vaccination rates after it ran out of AstraZeneca supplies. In the same month, it also announced a campaign to boost vaccinations in the Grand Abidjan region for those most at risk, including people over 60, people with underlying health problems, health workers, defence and security forces, and teachers. In December, the government renewed a vaccination campaign in Abidjan for 10 days in light of the Omicron variant.

Right to food

In July, Ivorians used social media to denounce the high cost of living and a surge in the price of basic necessities, including food, which caused hardship for large sections of the population. The National Institute for Statistics reported that the price of food and non-alcoholic drinks increased by 8.8% between August 2020 and August 2021. The prime minister met various people involved in the consumer goods supply chain to find a solution to rising prices, and announced that the activities of the National Committee Against the High Cost of Living would be strengthened in order to control market prices.

Right to housing

In October, the homes of thousands of people were demolished in Banco Nord Extension 2 on orders from the municipal authorities in Yopougon, a suburb of Abidjan, without their being provided with alternative housing. The demolitions occurred days after the community began legal procedures to stop their eviction. The government had relocated them to the area over 30 years earlier.

Sexual and gender-based violence

In October, the General and Institutional Affairs Committee of the National Assembly unanimously adopted a law specifying that survivors of sexual and gender-based violence do not need to provide a medical certificate as proof of abuse when making a complaint. Under the law, if the police or prosecutor require such proof, the victim will not bear the prohibitive cost of certificates which had previously prevented survivors from seeking justice.

Cote d'Ivoire Newroom

February 18, 2016 • Report

Amnesty International State of the World 2015-2016

International protection of human rights is in danger of unravelling as short-term national self-interest and draconian security crackdowns have led to a wholesale assault on basic freedoms and rights, warned Amnesty International as it launched its annual assessment of human rights around the world. “Your rights are in jeopardy: they are being treated with utter contempt by many governments around the world,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

February 25, 2015 • Report

State of the World 2014/2015

This has been a devastating year for those seeking to stand up for human rights and for those caught up in the suffering of war zones. Governments pay lip service to the importance of protecting civilians. And yet the world's politicians have miserably failed to protect those in greatest need. Amnesty International believes that this can and must finally change.

May 17, 2013 • Report

Annual Report: Côte D’Ivoire 2013

REPUBLIC OF CÔTE D’IVOIRE Head of state Alassane Ouattara Head of government Daniel Kablan Duncan (replaced Jeannot Ahoussou-Kouadio) Throughout the year people were arbitrarily detained and tortured against a backdrop …

March 19, 2013 • Report

Communities Shattered by Arms Proliferation and Abuse in Cote d’Ivoire

The irresponsible and illegal supply of weaponry and munitions to the warring parties in Côte d’Ivoire has continued for over a decade.

September 26, 2012 • Report

The Toxic Truth

Amnesty's new report looks at a company called Trafigura, a ship called the Probo Koala, and the dumping of toxic waste in Cote d'Ivoire.

July 27, 2011 • Report

Côte d’Ivoire: Climate of fear stopping return of displaced people

Côte d’Ivoire security forces and a state-backed militia are creating a climate of fear that is preventing hundreds of thousands of people displaced by post-election violence from returning to their …

June 27, 2011 • Report

Annual Report: Côte d’Ivoire 2011

Death penalty: abolitionist for all crimes Population: 21.6 million Life expectancy: 58.4 years Under-5 mortality (m/f): 129/117 per 1,000 Adult literacy: 54.6 per cent Tensions rose dramatically after presidential elections …

May 24, 2011 • Report

Côte d’Ivoire: Both sides responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity

The violence that followed the disputed presidential election in November 2010 has caused the most serious humanitarian and human rights crisis in Côte d'Ivoire in recent years. Hundreds of people have been unlawfully killed. Sexual violence was reported. Hundreds of thousands of people were forced to seek refuge in other regions of Côte d'Ivoire or in neighbouring countries. The conclusions in this report show that all parties to the conflict have committed crimes under international law, including war crimes and crimes against humanity.

March 19, 2011 • Report

Annual Report: Cote d’Ivoire 2010

Head of state Laurent Gbagbo Head of government Guillaume Soro Death penalty abolitionist for all crimes Population 21.1 million Life expectancy 56.8 years Under-5 mortality (m/f) 129/117 per 1,000 Adult …

October 20, 2020 • Press Release

Regional human rights bodies struggle to uphold rights amid political headwinds in Africa

For a second consecutive year, Amnesty International has documented how African governments are grossly undermining regional human rights bodies by failing to comply with their decisions, ignoring their urgent appeals, …