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Ivory Coast Table of Contents

Ivory Coast

Criminal Justice System

The Ivoirian penal code prohibited official violence without legitimate justification; nevertheless, suspects (particularly foreign Africans) were routinely subjected to rough treatment when detained or arrested by the National Gendarmerie or National Security Police. The penal code also allowed the police or investigative magistrates to conduct home searches without warrants if they had reason to believe that evidence of a crime would be found. Although the Constitution and statutes prohibited arbitrary arrest and imprisonment, the penal code did permit public prosecutors to detain suspects for up to forty-eight hours without charges. Magistrates could order longer detention of up to four months, provided that monthly reports were filed with the Ministry of Justice justifying continued detention. In the 1980s, periodic but short-lived anticrime campaigns resulted in massive detentions. The Ivoirian government abolished capital punishment for political crimes and had not employed it for criminal offenses since independence.

Data as of November 1988