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Côte d’Ivoire: UN human rights chief warns of growing violations of rights

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, expressed deep concern Sunday about the growing evidence of massive violations of human rights taking place in Côte d'Ivoire since 16 December 2010. She reiterated her determination to ensure that perpetrators are held accountable for their actions.

"When people are victims of extrajudicial killings there must be an investigation, and there must be accountability," Pillay said, noting that in the past three days there has been more than 50 people killed, and over 200 injured. "However, the deteriorating security conditions in the country and the interference with freedom of movement of UN personnel have made it difficult to investigate the large number of human rights violations reported."

The UN Operation in Côte d'Ivoire (UNOCI) has received reports from hundreds of victims and members of their families about the abduction of individuals from their homes, especially at night, by unidentified armed individuals in military uniform accompanied by elements of the Defence and Security Forces or militia groups. Abducted persons are reportedly taken by force to illegal places of detention where they are held incommunicado and without charge. Some have been found dead in questionable circumstances.

"I call upon all parties concerned to respect the human rights of all Ivorians, without discrimination," Pillay said. "UN human rights officers in Cote d'Ivoire are on the alert and will continue to closely monitor the situation across the country."

OHCHR Country Page – Cote d'Ivoire: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/AfricaRegion/Pages/CIIndex.aspx

Learn more about the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/AboutUs/Pages/HighCommissioner.aspx

Log on to OHCHR website: http://www.ohchr.org

For more information and media requests, please contact: Xabier Celaya (Tel: +41 22 917 9383 / email: xcelaya@ohchr.org)

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For use of the information media; not an official record