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Ivory Coast opposition claims 'up to 1,000' supporters in jail

Photo taken on February 19, 2013 shows former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo attending a pre-trial hearing on charges of crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court in The HagueUp to 1,000 supporters of Ivorian ex-president Laurent Gbagbo are in prison where several are subjected to torture, the head of the country’s former ruling party said on Thursday. “After our investigations in jails and with family members, we count 700 prisoners,” Affi N’Guessan, the president of the opposition Ivorian Popular Front told journalists, calling this “an approximate figure”. Fifty prisoners detained during Ivory Coast’s post-election crisis between 2010 and 2011 were released in May, a gesture interpreted as a sign of appeasement for followers of Gbagbo. A list of 719 prisoners presented by the Ivorian Popular Front includes more than 200 military personnel and individuals whose cases are yet to reach court, the party said.

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