Practice Relating to Rule 99. Deprivation of Liberty
Côte d’Ivoire’s Teaching Manual (2007) states in Book III, Volume 1 (Instruction of first-year trainee officers):
IV.9. Internment camps
During a conflict, a State can decide to intern certain civilians in internment camps. This measure is generally taken in occupied territory, but it has happened that it concerns enemy civilians in the national territory; this was, for example, the case of Iraqi civilians interned by the British during the Gulf war. By and large, internees are treated like prisoners of war. Internment represents a considerable restriction of the individual freedoms. The measure is only authorized if the demands of security cannot be satisfied by less severe measures.
In Book III, Volume 2 (Instruction of second-year trainee officers), the Teaching Manual provides:
I.3. War crimes
This is by far the breach which can take the most varied forms. It relates to the grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, namely the following acts directed against the persons or objects protected by these acts:
- … unlawful confinement of a civilian.
Under Côte d’Ivoire’s Penal Code (1981), as amended in 1995, organizing, ordering or carrying out, in time of war or occupation, systematic detention of the civilian population in concentration camps constitutes a “crime against the civilian population”.
Côte d’Ivoire’s Penal Code (1981), as amended in 2015, states:
Whoever commits a war crime is punished with life imprisonment.
War crimes are:
1 - grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, namely, any of the following acts against persons or property protected under the provisions of the relevant Geneva Convention:
- … unlawful confinement;
Protected persons referred to in article 139 are in particular:
1 - civilian or military wounded, sick or shipwrecked;
2 - civilians in the power of the enemy;
3 - persons who do not take part directly or who no longer take part in hostilities;
4 - medical and religious personnel, whether civilian or military;
5 - persons deprived of their liberty for reasons related to the armed conflict, whether they are interned or detained.
In 2009, in its report to the UN Human Rights Council, Côte d’Ivoire stated: “[T]he political and military crises faced by Côte d’Ivoire since 1999, exacerbated by the war which broke out in September 2002, have had many grave consequences in the political, economic and social spheres.”
Côte d’Ivoire also stated:
83. According to article 22 of the Constitution, nobody may be arbitrarily detained.
84. However as a result of the crisis from which Côte d’Ivoire is gradually emerging, this principle has often been violated, a situation brought about by malfunctioning of the judicial police unit[s] or the fact that the State had ceased to be present in the central, northern and western areas.
In 2013, in its initial report to the Human Rights Committee, Côte d’Ivoire stated:
211. The National Commission of Inquiry created by Decree No. 2011-176 of 20 July 2011 to investigate violations of human rights and public freedoms in the aftermath of the presidential election held on 31 October and 28 November 2010 was given the task of conducting non-judicial investigations into breaches of human rights and international humanitarian law in the period from 31 October 2010 to 15 May 2011.
212. The Commission submitted its report to the country’s President in August 2012. …
213. … The report also identifies 3,248 cases of “violations of the right to life”, 8,141 cases of “violence to the person”, 345 cases of “torture”, 194 cases of “rape”, 265 “forced disappearances” and 260 cases of “arbitrary detention”.