Laurent Gbagbo: Former Ivory Coast president's appeal rejected


Ivory Coast strongman Laurent Gbagbo and his wife Simone sit on a bed at the Golf Hotel in Abidjan after their arrest on April 11, 2011.



The International Criminal Court has rejected an appeal from former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo to be set free while he awaits trial in the Netherlands.

According to CNN, Gbagbo has been detained since he surrendered on December 5, 2011.

The court at The Hague said Friday that the former president, who faces charges of crimes against humanity for his part in the Ivory Coast's 2010 civil war, posed a flight risk, reported Voice of America. His lawyers said he should be freed until his trial because he is in need of medical treatment.

More than 3,000 people were killed in post-election violence when Gbagbo refused to stand down after losing the vote.

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Gbagbo, who denies committing crimes including rape and murder, has asked the court for permission to go abroad to recover from poor treatment he had received while in prison in Ivory Coast, according to the Angola Press.

Gbagbo's supporters expressed their disappointment outside the court.

"I am sad," Danielle Gohou told the Angola Press. "I'm disgusted that they are detaining my president."

In another development, Amnesty International has also said that more than 200 people have been illegally detained and tortured in Ivory Coast in recent months, reported VOA. Some of the detained were members of Gbagbo's opposition party.

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"People were tortured by electricity. Some of them have had molten plastic poured on their bodies," Amnesty researcher Salvatore Sagues said. "We saw the marks on their backs. Two of them have been sexually abused."

The international rights group said its declaration is based on a series of interviews with detainees, their family members and relatives of Gbagbo. Ivory Coast's current government blames Gbagbo loyalists for numerous attacks since the presidential election.

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