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Saturday, April 16, 2011

Afraid to go home in Cote d’Ivoire

Thousands of civilians remain displaced following intense fighting and massacres in Cote d'Ivoire.
Become a member of Amnesty to call for an end to human rights abuses in Cote d'Ivoire and other human rights hot spots.
Dear Dwijendra,

Thousands of civilians in Cote d'Ivoire remain displaced, hiding in the bush in life-threatening conditions. Although former President Laurent Gbagbo was captured earlier this month – following fighting between his supporters and forces loyal to President Alassane Ouattara – civilians must still contend with deteriorating humanitarian conditions and reprisals.

Amnesty International is calling on the Ivorian authorities and the United Nations to protect civilians and to ensure that all those who have been displaced by the violence can return safely to their homes and land.

Become a member today and support Amnesty's work to stop human rights catastrophes wherever they occur.

Amnesty delegates have reported that the situation in and around Abidjan, the Cote d'Ivoire's commercial capital, remains chaotic. Thousands fled during the conflict, and many have lost their homes and family members as a result of the fighting. Now that Gbagbo has been captured, people perceived to support him have been executed without cause, and many are afraid to return home.

Throughout the conflict, reports suggest that both pro-Gbagbo and pro-Ouattara forces have committed grave human rights violations.

During the height of the fighting, security forces used rape to terrorize civilians.
"They came in the middle of the night...eight of them, four in plain clothes and four soldiers in military fatigues. Two of them took my husband outside and six of them came upon me. They all took turns raping me and threw my children to the floor. After, I heard two gunshots. I found my husband outside…dead."

- Cote d'Ivoire rape victim describing the violent attack on her family by security forces loyal to Laurent Gbagbo.
Young men walk past looted shops and through debris-strewn streets in Abidjan on April 13, 2011.
©SIA KAMBOU/AFP/Getty Images

The situation in Cote d'Ivoire is still not stable. Although outgoing President Laurent Gbagbo was captured, thousands of civilians remain displaced, fearing reprisals. Your gift will help us intensify our demands for restraint and for human rights protections in Cote d'Ivoire and around the world.
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Eyewitness accounts like this of senseless killings and brutalities are mounting.

Shine the light on these atrocities. Help us urge the Ivorian authorities, all parties to the conflict, and the UN to protect civilians. Please become a member of Amnesty today – we will put your gift to use right away to defend human rights in Cote d'Ivoire and beyond.

We greatly appreciate your support.

Larry cox In Peace,
Larry cox
Larry Cox
Executive Director
Amnesty International USA

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