A local human rights organisation warned on Friday of worrying signs that human rights and social stability are under threat in Cote d'Ivoire following the arrest of the former interior minister, according to a statement issued by the Ligue Ivoirienne des droits de l'homme (LIDHO).
"We are seeing the seeds of tyranny grow," LIDHO said referring to the growing number of arrests and detentions made by the ruling Conseil national de salut public (CNSP). "LIDHO can see a direct and constant threat to human rights and social peace," it said. What was more worrying, it added, was that the the arrests were being made by the CNSP, not by the judicial authorities.
Former minister of the interior Emile Constant Bombet was detained last Tuesday by the military authorities for alleged "subversive activities" after reportedly holding a series of meetings at his home. He is also accused by the military of being implicated in the misappropriation of
some US $27 million of EU aid, and state funds amounting to some 8 billion F CFA (US $12 million).
Mathurin Dirabou, spokesman for the lawyers representing Bombet said that he could not be detained indefinitely without being charged. According to Ivorian law a person can be held for questioning for 48 hours.
Bombet, currently being held in a military prison in Abidjan, La Maison d'Arret Militaire (MAMA), had been arrested just after the 24 December military coup which ousted former President Henri Konan Bedie, but was released a month later along with other civilians.
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