Urgent Action: Opposition Leader in Need of Medical Care (Cote d’Ivoire: UA 46.20)
April 3, 2020
Alain Lobognon, a member of parliament of Cote d’Ivoire and founding member of the political party Generations and People in Solidarity (GPS), is being detained in Agboville Prison, in south-eastern Cote d’Ivoire. He was arrested in the capital, Abidjan, on 24 December 2019, and charged with ‘publishing false news, undermining public order and the authority of the state’. He is in need of medical attention.
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M. Sansan Kambilé
Minister of Justice and Human Rights
Imm. Symphonie -Abidjan, plateau.
01 BP 2020 Abidjan 01
Email: [email protected]
Ambassador Haidara Mamadou
Embassy of the Republic of Cote D’Ivoire
2424 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington DC 20008
Phone: 202 797 0300
Email: [email protected]
Contact Form: https://bit.ly/36yqwqx
Salutation: Dear Ambassador
I am concerned about the medical condition of Alain Lobognon, member of parliament of Cote d’Ivoire, who was arrested on 24 December 2019 in Abidjan and charged with ‘publishing false news, undermining public order and the authority of the state’.
Alain Lobognon suffers from high blood pressure and underwent surgery in 2019. On 23 March 2020, Alain, who is detained pending trial in Agboville Prison, experienced symptoms of malaria. He remained in bed in his cell for four days. According to information shared in a letter by his lawyer and wife, his current poor health is due to poor detention conditions. His cell is infested with mosquitoes and insects due in part to the grating that serves as a roof.
I welcome the fact that the prison administration proposed that Alain be checked by the prison doctor and nurse. However, as an opposition leader, Alain fears for his life and would like to have access to his own, independent doctor.
As Ivoirian authorities have suspended all visits to detainees from 18 March to 16 April to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Alain Lobognon cannot receive visits from his doctor and relatives.
I urge the Ivoirian authorities to ensure that Alain receives any appropriate medical care he might need. This is especially urgent as Cote d’Ivoire is dealing with cases of COVID-19 pandemic, which could further expose detainees to health risks. Pending his trial, Alain’s conditions of detention should be in line with international standards, including access to water, food and regular access to his family. If contact visits are restricted due to COVID-19 prevention measures, they must be replaced with other means of contacting his family, by phone, video call or emails.