Amnesty Calls for End to Ivory Coast Crackdown Ahead of Vote

(Bloomberg) -- Ivory Coast must end arbitrary arrests and harassment of people for perceived critical views and dissent, and immediately and unconditionally release all detainees, Amnesty International said.

“The Ivorian authorities’ use of repressive laws amid a crackdown on the right to freedom of expression has resulted in the arbitrary detention of scores of people simply for peacefully exercising their human rights,” Francois Patuel, Amnesty International’s West Africa researcher, said in a report issued ahead of presidential elections in the West African country next year.

Besides journalists, political opponents and bloggers are also being harassed, the London-based human-rights organization said. Last month lawmaker Alain Lobognon was jailed for a year and fined 300,000 CFA francs ($518) after being found guilty of disseminating false information and incitement to revolt, Amnesty said.

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