PUBLIC AI Index: AFR 31/05/00
UA 304/00 Torture
COTE D’IVOIREChief Sergeant Souleymane DIOMANDE, known as “la Grenade”
Corporal Vada BAMBA
Corporal Ménassa BAMBA
Corporal Finaly BAKOYOKO
Captain Issa SACKO
Sergeant Seydou KONE
Corporal Aboudrahamane ISSA
Corporal Siaka OUATTARA
At least 20 others
At least 28 soldiers have been arrested and severely tortured after an attack
on the private residence of the Head of state, General Robert Gueï on 18 September
2000. At least one is reported to have died as a result of torture.
Most, if not all, are from the General’s bodyguard. They were arrested on suspicion
of plotting this attack. The first five soldiers named above were shown on
television after they were arrested, but they have been detained incommunicado
ever since. Their relatives have looked for them in all the military prisons in
Abidjan, but the authorities have refused to give them any information. Some or
all of these five soldiers are reportedly held at the former military camp of
Akuedo, called “La Poudrière”, (“The powder magazine”) where most of the Ivorian
army’s guns and ammunition are held.
The Minister of Security, Lansana Palenfo, who was accused on 26 September of
involvement in the attack, and who is now in hiding, said publicly yesterday on
an international radio station, Radio France Internationale, that all the soldiers
who have been arrested have been tortured, and that he had “information that most
of our guards, those who were taken in for questioning, were killed”.
At least one soldier arrested in connection with the attack is known to have died.
Relatives of SanSan Kampiré found his body in the morgue of the Centre Hospitalier
Universitaire in Treichville, near Abidjan. The people who saw the corpse told
Amnesty International that it was covered in blood, but that they could not see
any bullet wounds.
Other soldiers including Sergeant Seydou Kone, Corporal Aboudrahamane Issa and
Corporal Siaka Outtara have reportedly been severely tortured at a military prison,
the Maison d’Arrêt militaire d’Abidjan (MAMA), where they have been held since
they were arrested early last week.
Other people arrested since the attack on the Head of State’s residence, including
civilians, are being held incommunicado at the gendarmerie in Agban, near Abidjan.
General Robert Gueï came to power in a military Coup on 24 December 1999. Since
then there have been numerous attacks on human rights, which have threatened the
very foundation of the rule of law.
Groups of soldiers, believing themselves to be above the law, have set up a parallel