OMCT secures first ruling by the UN Human Rights Committee on torture and enforced disappearance in Ivory Coast
Geneva, 20 December 2011
The UN Human Rights Committee ruled in favour of a complaint submitted by the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) on behalf of a victim of torture and his two cousins that were victims of enforced disappearance in Ivory Coast. The case was supported by OMCT’s victim assistance and litigation project seeking justice and reparation for victims of torture.
The OMCT submitted the communication No. 1759/2008 before the HRC on behalf of Zoumana Sorifing Traoré and his two cousins, Chalio and Bakary Traoré, against Ivory Coast. Zoumana Sorifing Traoré, a citizen of the Ivory Coast was arbitrarily detained by men in military clothing for political reasons in the premises of the Compagnie républicaine de sécurité (CRS) in the night of the 22nd to the 23rd September 2002. His and his cousin’s detention occurred in the aftermath of the escalation of conflict between three armed opposition groups and state forces on 18 September 2002 when the authorities targeted ‘alleged dissidents’.
The HRC concluded during its 103rd session, held from 17 October to 4 November 2011, that Ivory Coast violated the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) in the case Traoré v. the Côte d`Ivoire. The State was held responsible for extrajudicial execution, torture and enforced disappearance, secret detention, inhuman conditions during the detention and for not having provided the victims with an effective remedy. Furthermore, the HRC noted OMCT’s submission that amendments to the Law on Amnesty in 2007 failed to exclude torture and other serious human rights violations from its scope of application. The Committee concluded a violation of the right to an effective remedy in this case concerning torture (article 7), the right to liberty and security (article 9) and humane treatment during detention (article 10.1).
OMCT expresses great satisfaction with the views adopted by the HRC and calls upon the authorities of Ivory Coast to ensure the full and effective implementation of the Committee’s decision, in particular the conduct of an effective investigation to hold those responsible to account, the provision of reparation to the victims, and to free the ‘disappeared’ cousins of the author, or in if deceased provide their bodies to the families.
At a time of political transition in Ivory Coast, the OMCT calls on the authorities to demonstrate their commitment to the universal human rights framework by swiftly implementing the decision and ensuring the domestic implementation of international standards and decisions. The OMCT will monitor closely the compliance with the decision and will work with its network members to strengthen the respect for the absolute prohibition of torture in Ivory Coast.
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Andrea Meraz Sepulveda: +41 22 809 49 39, firstname.lastname@example.org
 The HRC concluded that the State party violated articles 7, 9, 10.1 and 2.3 in relation with articles 7, 9 and 10.1 with regard to the author himself and articles 6.1, 7, 9, 10.1 alone and in relation with article 2.3 with regard to his cousins.