September 30, 2011

I. Initial Post-Election Violence: November 2010-January 2011

As it became clear that Laurent Gbagbo would not accept the internationally recognized election results that proclaimed Alassane Ouattara the victor, Gbagbo’s security forces launched a violent crackdown to squelch the opposition. Each time that Ouattara supporters went out to protest in Abidjan, they were violently suppressed—with particular brutality during a December 16 march on Gbagbo’s RTI television station. Security forces fired live ammunition as well as fragmentation grenades leaving scores of demonstrators dead and many more wounded. The violence escalated further as Gbagbo’s forces carried out enforced disappearances in pro-Ouattara areas, targeting neighborhood leaders in Ouattara’s coalition. Many were found later by family members in morgues, their bodies riddled with bullets. Security forces or allied militia groups also targeted and raped women because of their, or their husband’s, political activism in support of Ouattara; at times, the women saw their husbands executed in front of them.

The principal perpetrators during this period were the elite security units linked closely to Gbagbo, including the Republican Guard, CECOS (a rapid-response unit), the BAE (an anti-riot unit), and the CRS (an elite police force). At times, they worked hand in hand with the pro-Gbagbo militia groups, primarily the Student Federation of Côte d’Ivoire (Fédération Estudiantine et Scolaire de Côte d’Ivoire, FESCI), a student group with a history of political violence; and the Young Patriots (Jeunes Patriotes), a militant youth wing founded and led by Charles Blé Goudé, who Gbagbo appointed in December 2010 as his Youth Minister.

On the other side, the Forces Nouvelles—in control of the country’s northern half—engaged in intimidation and violence there against Gbagbo supporters, and committed sexual violence against some women. The violence did not approach the level committed by Gbagbo forces at that time, but foreshadowed the Republican Forces’ grave crimes at a later stage of the crisis.

Pro-Gbagbo Forces

Excessive Use of Force against Demonstrators

When Ouattara supporters took to the streets to demonstrate following the November 28 run-off, Gbagbo’s security forces met them with brutal and often lethal force. Demonstrations during this period primarily occurred around the December 2 and 3 controversy over election results, as well as the December 16 march to Radiodiffusion Télévision Ivoirienne (RTI).

Security forces often, but not always, first employed tear gas and fired guns over demonstrators’ heads. However, generally within minutes they turned to lethal firearms—including Kalashnikov rifles, automatic pistols, and fragmentation grenades—without aggressive behavior or sufficient violence by the demonstrators to necessitate lethal force. Security forces continued firing as the demonstrators fled, killing dozens and wounding scores more. The use of fragmentation grenades was deemed particularly pernicious by victims interviewed by Human Rights Watch, including one young man whose younger brother was killed by a grenade:

We have lived through [political violence in] 2000, 2002, 2004, but never, during any of this, did the security forces use grenades like this on us. Never…. It is the worst. It leaves so many injured and dead because the shrapnel sprays everywhere. We put our hands up, we show we’re peaceful, and they respond by firing these grenades.[43]

The use of live ammunition and fragmentation grenades during these events contravened the principles of absolute necessity and proportionality enshrined in the UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials and the UN Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials.[44] Indeed, as the assemblies were generally peaceful in nature, the Basic Principles state that “law enforcement officials shall avoid the use of force or, where that is not practicable, shall restrict such force to the minimum extent necessary” to disperse the crowd.[45] In several cases documented by Human Rights Watch during this period, security forces and militia operating with them went farther, killing captured or detained protesters at point-blank range.

December 4: Treichville/Koumassi

On Saturday, December 4, Ouattara supporters took to the streets in Treichville and Koumassi, pro-Ouattara neighborhoods in southern Abidjan, to celebrate the UN’s endorsement of Ouattara’s victory and to protest Gbagbo’s decision not to relinquish power. The security forces swiftly suppressed them, leading to at least four deaths, including of three boys, as well as dozens of wounded. Most of the wounded were injured by fragmentation grenades that security forces launched or rolled into crowds, according to witnesses Human Rights Watch interviewed.[46] None of the victims nor any of the demonstrators around them appeared to have engaged in aggressive behavior toward the security forces that would have dictated a response of even minimal force.

At around 9 a.m., a 14-year-old boy from Koumassi followed his older brother to an intersection known as Carrefour Kahira, curious to watch the youth assemble and celebrate. According to multiple witnesses interviewed by Human Rights Watch, a contingent of CECOS forces in vehicles marked number 51 and 53 arrived around an hour later, along with a few units of the Republican Guard.[47] The boy’s older brother told Human Rights Watch what followed:

The security forces entered the neighborhood in their pickups, CECOS number 51 and 53. People were on the road, and after several minutes the CECOS forces fired tear gas without any warning. We were about 15 meters from them. We’d made no movement toward them and hadn’t thrown rocks or anything. Then they followed by launching fragmentation grenades. [My brother] had moved away to play with his friends earlier, he was about 10 meters from me. I heard one of the first explosions and looked and saw him on the ground, blood was running everywhere. I went over to him, and he had been hit by the shrapnel. Blood was soaking through his pants from his upper leg and hip…. I picked him up and brought him to my father’s house, and from there we took him to a clinic in the neighborhood. When we arrived, he had already lost the color in his face. The doctor looked at him and said it was too late, he was already dead…. After we got home from the hospital, everyone in the neighborhood came and cried. We still cry.[48]

Less than 500 meters away, at Carrefour Saint Etienne near Koumassi’s main market, two more boys died from grenade wounds, and a third suffered near-fatal injuries, when a demonstration of around 100 Ouattara supporters came under attack.[49] According to three witnesses interviewed by Human Rights Watch, CECOS was again the main security force present, accompanied by a smaller number of CRS and men dressed in civilian attire, with balaclavas. A young man who watched his 12-year-old younger brother killed by a fragmentation grenade told Human Rights Watch, “These were boys. Not armed men. Boys in the street having fun with the demonstration. Who kills unarmed boys?”[50]

A similar demonstration occurred in Treichville, with scores of Ouattara supporters meeting the morning of December 4 at the intersection of Avenue 16 and Rue 21. Human Rights Watch interviewed three people present, two of whom suffered severe wounds from fragmentation grenades and another who received a gunshot to the hand as he ran away from the CRS II and military forces firing on the demonstrators. One of the demonstrators, who suffered serious wounds to his hand and back from grenade shrapnel, watched his friend killed by gunfire at close range. [51] Another demonstrator described the CRS forces rolling grenades into the crowd.[52] After the first few exploded, he started running, but another grenade landed to his right as he fled, causing wounds that forced the youth to walk with a cane. More than six weeks later when Human Rights Watch interviewed him, he still walked with a cane.

December 16 March to RTI

On December 14, Ouattara’s government called on supporters to march on December 16 and take over Gbagbo’s RTI television station—which was crucial in maintaining Gbagbo’s control and inciting violence against Ouattara supporters [see Incitement to Violence by the Gbagbo Camp, below]. Gbagbo responded by increasing the presence of military forces in Abidjan, particularly around RTI. As thousands of Ouattara’s supporters took to the streets on December 16, they were again swiftly and violently suppressed by Gbagbo’s security forces. Human Rights Watch documented the killing of at least 32 protesters, including by fragmentation grenades and gunfire at close range. The overwhelming majority of the demonstrators appear to have acted peacefully throughout the events; however, Human Rights Watch did document the killing of several members of Gbagbo’s security forces—including one who was killed by a mob after he shot several demonstrators from a rooftop.

A 24-year-old who made it within 600 meters of RTI described the panic as protestors faced grenades and gunshots from multiple directions:

Around 9 a.m., as we arrived in Deux Plateaux, I saw CECOS in a 4x4. They were with normal police and the CRS. The police told us to pass, so we continued by them. No more than two minutes later, CECOS opened fire. It was about 600 meters from RTI. There were more soldiers between us and RTI, dressed in solid green military uniforms. They had a white band around their arm and carried Kalashes [Kalashnikov rifles] and grenades. As we advanced, they opened fire with tear gas. People stopped advancing, but then they opened fire with live rounds. Several people fell down after being shot…. It was then that I saw them fire fragmentation grenades. The group in green uniforms launched them out of something similar to what they fire tear gas from…. An explosion happened to my right, and I saw three people fall down. Two of them were dead immediately, I was covered in their blood…. Four of us moved the bodies to get them away from where firing was happening. Two of us picked up the first body, two the second. One of them, I can’t even explain to you his wound, it was something else. No one could have survived that, it was if one part of his face and neck had exploded. I started running with others towards the RHDP office, but the military pursued us in a cargo truck. We left the main road and headed towards Adjamé. Here we encountered three 4x4s with gendarmes in their blue-white uniforms. Several of them threw grenades, and one exploded not far from me. I fell down in pain, and I could see that I’d been hit in the lower leg. There was blood, and the metal pieces buried into my leg. My brother was with me, and he told me I had to get up. My leg hurt, but I couldn’t stop.[53]

Another demonstrator interviewed by Human Rights Watch witnessed two more people killed by gunshot. The attackers in his case were in all black uniforms, generally worn by police units. Six more people, including the person interviewed, were wounded when security forces fired grenades. The 29-year-old described the scene after he was injured:

When I went down to the ground, my head was on someone who was dead. My hearing was completely gone, I couldn’t make out any sound except ringing and the occasional bullet. There was blood everywhere, I tried to shake the guy I was on top of, but he didn’t respond; there was no movement. Another deceased, a younger youth, was right next to me…. After several minutes, I could see that those in the black uniforms were talking, and they came at us and took several of the bodies near me and put them on a truck. I knew if I was taken, I was dead, so when they came and reached for me I kicked at them and tried to make it impossible to grab me. They said something—I still couldn’t hear—but they stopped trying to take me. They took the other bodies around me, including the two that were dead, and put them on the truck before driving away.[54]

Targeted Killings and Enforced Disappearances of Pro-Ouattara Activists

In addition to suppressing demonstrations, Gbagbo’s security forces targeted neighborhood political party officials and allied civil society groups for killings and enforced disappearances. Human Rights Watch documented more than 10 enforced disappearances or extrajudicial executions that occurred around the December 16 march; the evidence very strongly suggests these were the result of an organized effort to select, find, and abduct particular victims associated with Ouattara’s political coalition. They include:

  • Early on the morning of December 14, an active neighborhood leader of the Mouvement des Forces de l’Avenir (MFA), a party in the RHDP coalition, was forced by three armed men in civilian attire into a grey Mercedes. Witnesses told Human Rights Watch that they overheard the assailants demand the location of several other MFA leaders in Abobo. A call to the abducted man’s phone the same day was answered, and the person who responded said, “[Your relative] is part of the group trying to destabilize the party in power.” His body was later found in the morgue.[55]
  • A leading member of the MFA told Human Rights Watch that several other party leaders had been “disappeared”—at least two of their bodies later identified with gunshot wounds at a morgue.[56] Two neighborhood activists for the party UDCI (l’Union Démocratique de Côte d’Ivoire), also part of the RHDP coalition, were similarly disappeared on December 9—their bodies found at the Yopougon morgue over a week later.[57]
  • On December 18, two members of the civil society group Alliance pour le changement (APC)—which is linked to Ouattara’s party and was active in election rallying—were abducted in plain sight of witnesses during the early evening in Cocody Angré neighborhood. A witness told Human Rights Watch that people at a nearby restaurant were forced to the ground while armed men forced the two activists into a 4x4. Both are believed to be dead.[58]
  • Six days later, another APC leader barely escaped abduction in Abobo at around 7:30 a.m., when a dark green Mitsubishi 4x4 raced up and five armed men, three in military fatigues, got out, yelling at him by name to enter the car. A witness told Human Rights Watch that several wore the Republican Guard’s red berets.[59] The intended victim said that as the men tried to force him toward the car, he saw eight photographs—including his own and others he recognized as members of the RHDP community leadership—on the car’s floor.[60]

Human Rights Watch also documented the targeted abduction and killing of several people who had monitored ballot boxes in Abobo for Ouattara’s RDR party. A family member of one such victim said:

At around 6 p.m. on December 18, we were all in our houses when a group of about 10 policemen dressed in black arrived in a transport truck and parked outside. They got down and forced their way into our compound. At that moment I heard a neighbor who is [from an ethnic group that largely supported Gbagbo] say, “Look, there he is, there is one of them.” Moments later they captured my relative, who is in his 40’s, and forced him into their truck…. Around the same time, the woman who was helping the police identify victims said, “The other one is praying in the house.” They went into the house of the other [election monitor], who is about 60 years old, to capture him. He said, “No, no … at least let me put my shoes on,” but they screamed at him to leave them and dragged him into the truck. About a week later we found their bodies in the Yopougon morgue. It was very difficult… I saw bullet wounds in their chests, and a lot of blood on their heads. In the morgue, I saw many bodies lying on top of one another. The elder of the two victims was the RDR representative at our polling station. He personally imposed himself at the polling station door to stop the FPI people who came to steal the ballot boxes.[61]

In addition to these documented disappearances and attempted abductions, Human Rights Watch received statements from more than a dozen neighbors and family members that 4x4s bearing armed, camouflage-wearing men had come to the houses of RHDP community leaders, sometimes a number of times. Many RHDP leaders in Abidjan were forced to remain in hiding for months.

Killings of Perceived Opponents by Pro-Gbagbo Militia

Witnesses told Human Rights Watch that they saw men being beaten to death with bricks, clubs, and pieces of wood, or shot by members of pro-Gbagbo militias who had created unofficial checkpoints. This would remain prevalent throughout the post-election crisis, targeting northern Ivorians and West African immigrants.

Human Rights Watch researchers documented the murder of at least 13 men at pro-Gbagbo militia checkpoints around the December 16 march. In many cases, witnesses said that police, gendarmes, and other members of the security forces actively sided with the militias, either standing by while the abuses were committed, openly praising the killings as or after they took place, or even shooting at the victim’s body. Many of the killings took place just meters from a police station. Witnesses said that during neighborhood sweeps and in responding to marches by Ouattara supporters, pro-Gbagbo militia assisted security forces, at times firing Kalashknikov rifles, pistols, and shotguns at unarmed demonstrators.

Most of the militia killings took place in broad daylight. Victims were typically stopped at illicit checkpoints and ordered to show their identification cards. If the militiamen believed from the person’s style of dress or surname that he was a Muslim or from an ethnic group that tended to support Ouattara, the militiamen would surround him, accuse him of being a “marcher” or “rebel,” and beat the victim to death with iron bars, pieces of wood, and bricks. Victims and witnesses generally identified the attackers as members of FESCI or the Young Patriots, as a result of prior personal knowledge of the attacker, because the attacker said he was from the group, or because of where the attack took place—often directly outside a Young Patriot assembly point or a FESCI-run student housing building.[62]

A woman who lives in the Riviera II neighborhood described the killing of a youth by a group of FESCI members who live in university dormitories near her home:

During the afternoon of December 16, after the violence associated with the march had quieted down, a group of about 20 FESCI youths gathered outside their dorms. As a youth was walking by, the FESCIs yelled for him to come, but he was obviously frightened and started to run. The FESCI chased and caught him about 30 meters away and immediately started beating him, slamming him with wood and rocks until he fell down bleeding. Another group of FESCI came from their dorms, and one of them shot him in the leg with a pistol. Some minutes later, a CECOS truck arrived at the scene. I heard the FESCI youth saying, “He was a marcher, a rebel.” Hearing this, a policeman from CECOS descended from his vehicle and shot the youth four times in the head with a long gun.[63]

An Abobo resident described the January 13 killing of two young men by Young Patriots who operated a checkpoint right outside their neighborhood headquarters. These killings occurred on a day when unidentified attackers, alleged by the Gbagbo government to be pro-Ouattara forces, killed five policemen in the same area. The resident said:

At around 10 a.m., as I reached the main road, a woman told me that the Patriots were killing people again. I moved carefully to a position where I could see what was going on and saw a young man lying in the middle of the road…. He had blood all over his head, and I saw bricks lying on the road nearby. There were about 20 Patriots walking around the dying man carrying wood and bricks. He was barely breathing; it was his final moments. I passed by quickly across the road; I wanted to run but if I’d not walked normally, they’d turn on me. Then, just after midday, I saw a second killing. The local Patriot leader and a few others chased a young man from a street that leads to the highway. As they reached the road the man was trapped behind a parked mini-bus; he turned around with his hands up and one Patriot stabbed him several times with a knife…. The victim fell down and then two others picked up a small wood table and started banging it on the man again and again; they beat him to death. After killing him, the three turned around calmly, put their hands in their pockets, and strolled away. We later learned the victims were RHDP youths.[64]

Sexual Violence

Human Rights Watch documented gang rapes of 14 women in Abobo by members of the security forces or pro-Gbagbo militia—in several cases working together—in the days after the December 16 march. The victims included two 16-year-old girls, a 17-year-old girl, and a woman who was eight months pregnant. In three cases, victims’ husbands were murdered simultaneously. The attackers often voiced a clear political motive, telling rape victims to report their “problem” to Ouattara.

A 25-year-old woman, who was gang raped along with several others when returning home from the December 16 march, painfully recounted to Human Rights Watch:

We were coming back from the march around 8 p.m. Arriving at the [Patriots] assembly point in [Abobo] Avocatier, there was a roadblock. When we passed in the morning, there wasn’t one, and there were a lot of us, so we thought we could walk together and return home. They attacked us, killing the men and raping us. They raped us right in the assembly point square. They dragged the girls in the square and beat the boys with clubs. A few were able to flee. One of them caught my arms behind the back, another put his hand on my mouth. Three others held my legs, and they raped me. They tore my clothes. I was wearing an RDR t-shirt, a cloth with tight pants underneath…. Four men did this to me. I tried to fight back in vain. That’s why I’m so sick in my heart. They beat me with clubs, with the butts of their guns. There were many uniformed men among them, as well as youth wearing red bands on their arms.… While they were on top of me, they were raping other girls around me. They said to go tell Alassane that they’d raped me…. I returned home all alone crying, bleeding.[65]

Another 25-year-old woman who was raped by three soldiers and a civilian watched her husband murdered in front of her on December 17:

At around 10 p.m., the military came to my home; there were eight of them dressed in camouflage with red patches, and one of the neighborhood Patriots. As they forced the door open, I ran to my 3-year-old and held him close. I screamed as they beat my husband, then one of them hit me forcefully on my head with the butt of his gun and ripped at my shirt…. When he saw I was wearing a shirt with Alassane’s picture, they went mad. They grabbed my child out of my arms and threw him at the door, then pulled me into the bedroom, ripped off my clothes and lay on me; four of them did it, including the Patriot. I fought and one of them hit me with his belt. I came out of the room after they were done and saw that they’d made my husband get on his knees with his hands up. They shot him twice in the back… Before they shot him, my husband yelled, “My family, my family.” As they left, one said, “Go tell Alassane it was us who did this to you.” My children saw their father murdered and now wake up at night crying. My husband was active in the RDR, maybe that’s why they attacked us.[66]

Attacks continued in the neighborhood several days after the December 16 march. A 20-year-old woman said she was raped in her home along with two family members, including one who was 16 years old, at around 1 a.m. on December 19. Six attackers, including five in black uniforms, knocked on the door of their Abobo residence and demanded that the women open up for the police. When they did, the men “set upon us—two of them used me; I didn’t want what they were doing; they beat me until I had no choice…. When they were finished they took our sister, and we haven’t been able to find her. They raped me in the bedroom, my sister in the salon, and the other [sister] who disappeared just outside the compound.”[67]

Pro-Ouattara Forces in the North

After the elections, Forces Nouvelles soldiers intimidated, threatened, and, in a few cases, killed or raped people aligned with Gbagbo’s political party in the north, in addition to looting their properties. Human Rights Watch interviewed three women who were raped during this period. The reported violations were of a much smaller scale than the abuses inflicted by Gbagbo’s forces in Abidjan.

Between the second round of elections and February 24, when fighting broke out in the far west between the armed forces from the two sides, almost 40,000 refugees crossed the border into Liberia—the vast majority fleeing from the Forces Nouvelles-controlled region of Dix-Huit Montagnes into Liberia’s Nimba county.[68] When Human Rights Watch conducted its first mission along the Liberian-Ivorian border at the end of December 2010, about 13,000 refugees were already registered.[69]

Dozens of refugees interviewed by Human Rights Watch at this time said they left because they were harassed and intimidated by Forces Nouvelles soldiers in the days leading up to and after the second round of elections. Many of these refugees had either actively worked on or supported Gbagbo’s campaign. A 40-year-old man told Human Rights Watch that he was beaten by Forces Nouvelles soldiers for acting as the Gbagbo party representative at a polling site in the far west. He showed Human Rights Watch scars that remained a month later on his head, back, and right hand. He fled to Liberia upon hearing from friends that the Forces Nouvelles soldiers were again looking for him.[70]

After the Constitutional Court declared that Gbagbo had won, witnesses said dozens of Forces Nouvelles soldiers almost immediately left their stronghold in Danané and fanned out to villages perceived as supporting Gbagbo. Refugees, including a 38-year-old man from Mahapleu village, described fleeing into the bush as the soldiers arrived:

On Tuesday, November 30, my grandmother told me she heard there were going to be problems, and she told me not to cross [to Liberia] right now. Instead I went to the bush for two days. During that time, six Forces Nouvelles soldiers came to the village to search for Gbagbo supporters. We were five [Gbagbo supporters] in the village. They broke the door of my house looking for me. It was not a random act.[71]

In a particularly egregious case, a woman described her husband’s abduction followed by the beating of her and her 7-year-old son, who died from the injuries:

My husband, a [pro-Gbagbo] military man, was taken away by FN several weeks after the election results. They came and knocked at our door and asked for him. He answered and said “Who is that” and they responded, “It is your good friend.” My husband opened the door and four FN, wearing civilian clothes, came into the house and tied him up. They carried him out…. They were seven in total, and the other three remained and started beating me. One of them said, “We should rape this woman,” but the other two said, “No, that is not our mission, we should not waste time.” So they beat me and my younger son, who was 7 years old. He was shouting at them, so they started hitting him with sticks and other objects. He went unconscious, then they left and we decided to move from our village to the next. [Between there] and the Liberian border, the boy started experiencing pain and vomiting blood. We slept in the bush, where he died. I don’t know my husband’s whereabouts up until now.[72]

Human Rights Watch also documented cases in at least three villages in which Forces Nouvelles fighters targeted Gbagbo supporters by looting their homes and businesses, including motorcycles, store goods, money, and other valuables. A 37-year-old man who lived in a village where such a raid took place told Human Rights Watch:

During the election we were campaigning for Gbagbo and when the results came out the Forces Nouvelles came and took our motorcycles…. I hid for three days, and I came out on December 14 and two people told me that FN were looking for me. On the evening of the 14th, the rebels arrived around 8 p.m. from Danané; I could not tell how many cars there were, but they had 4x4s and motorcycles. They had Danané Forces Nouvelles uniforms on and were armed with RPGs and Kalashes. I escaped to the bush and they said to my brother, “Don’t be afraid, we are here to guard your people and your things.” That evening they looted my brother. They took our motorbike and mobile; they actually took 20 motorcycles from the village.[73]

Most refugees, however, told Human Rights Watch that they fled in anticipation of abuse, as the memory of the 2002-2003 armed conflict and its aftermath—particularly abuses by the Forces Nouvelles—remained fresh in their mind. A 39-year-old refugee from Zouan-Hounien said:

In 2003, I was arrested in Danané for one month, but because UNOCI intervened I was released. I was accused of supporting Gbagbo after the [2010] election, and when this [electoral controversy] happened I decided to move.… I didn’t want a repeat of what happened before. Before I left [for Liberia] the rebels were asking for me, asking my friends. My friends told me to be careful. The same Forces Nouvelles soldier who arrested me in 2003 came back to the village and was looking for me.[74]

Forces Nouvelles soldiers likewise targeted some women for sexual violence based on their real or perceived support for Gbagbo. Human Rights Watch documented three cases of rape during this period immediately after the second round of elections, including the wife of a Gbagbo campaign manager, raped by three Forces Nouvelles soldiers who came looking for her husband.[75] A 36-year-old woman watched from her house as two more women were raped in her village, including a pregnant woman raped by four Forces Nouvelles soldiers.[76] Several refugees in Liberia also told Human Rights Watch that Forces Nouvelles soldiers had come into villages and forced women to cook for them and in some instances held women as “forced wives.”[77]

[43] Human Rights Watch interview with brother of victim killed by grenade, Abidjan, January 16, 2011.

[44] Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials [hereafter Basic Principles on the Use of Force], adopted by the Eighth United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders, Havana, August 27 to September 7, 1990, U.N. Doc. A/CONF.144/28/Rev.1 at 112 (1990), arts. 4, 5, 9, 10, 12-14; United Nations Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials, adopted December 17, 1979, G.A. res. 34/169, annex, 34 U.N. GAOR Supp. (No. 46) at 186, U.N. Doc. A/34/46 (1979), art. 3.

[45] Basic Principles on the Use of Force, art. 14.

[46] Human Rights Watch interviews with witness to killing, Abidjan, January 16, 2011; with youth leader and demonstration participant, Abidjan, January 16, 2011; with demonstration participant wounded by grenade, Abidjan, January 16, 2011; and with demonstration participant, Abidjan, January 16, 2011.

[47] Human Rights Watch interviews with witness to killing, Abidjan, January 16, 2011; with youth leader and demonstration participant, Abidjan, January 16, 2011.

[48] Human Rights Watch interview with brother of 14-year-old killed by grenade, Abidjan, January 16, 2011.

[49] Human Rights Watch interviews with witness to 12-year-old killed by grenade, Abidjan, January 16, 2011; with father of 15-year-old killed by grenade, Abidjan, January 16, 2011; and with 24-year-old witness, Abidjan, January 16, 2011.

[50] Human Rights Watch interview with witness to killing by grenade, Abidjan, January 16, 2011.

[51] Human Rights Watch interview with 28-year-old injured by fragmentation grenade, Abidjan, January 14, 2011.

[52] Human Rights Watch interview with 26-year-old injured by fragmentation grenade, Abidjan, January 14, 2011.

[53] Human Rights Watch interview with 24-year-old victim, Abidjan, January 16, 2011.

[54] Human Rights Watch interview with 29-year-old victim, Abidjan, January 16, 2011.

[55] Human Rights Watch interview with 19-year-old witness to abduction, Abidjan, January 12, 2011; Human Rights Watch interview with 38-year-old neighbor and witness to abduction, Abidjan, January 13, 2011.

[56] Human Rights Watch interview with Abobo neighborhood leader of MFA, Abidjan, January 13, 2011.

[57] Human Rights Watch interview with witness to abduction, Abidjan, January 15, 2011.

[58] Human Rights Watch interview with 48-year-old witness, Abidjan, January 15, 2011.

[59] Human Rights Watch interview with 26-year-old witness, Abidjan, January 14, 2011.

[60] Human Rights Watch phone interview with victim in hiding in northern Côte d’Ivoire, January 14, 2011.

[61] Human Rights Watch interview with witness, Abidjan, January 15, 2011.

[62] See Human Rights Watch, “Côte d’Ivoire: Violence Campaign by Security Forces, Militias,” January 26, 2011; Human Rights Watch, “Côte d’Ivoire: Crimes Against Humanity by Gbagbo Forces,” March 15, 2011.

[63] Human Rights Watch interview with witness to FESCI killing, Abidjan, January 13, 2011.

[64] Human Rights Watch interview with 34-year-old witness, Abidjan, January 13, 2011.

[65] Human Rights Watch interview with 25-year-old rape victim, Abidjan, January 26, 2011.

[66] Human Rights Watch interview with 25-year-old rape victim, January 17, 2011.

[67] Human Rights Watch interview with 20-year-old rape victim, January 17, 2011.

[68] UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Côte d’Ivoire Situation Update CIV+5, February 24, 2010; UNHCR, Ivorian population statistics in Liberia: 1 December 2010 – 21 March 2011, March 21, 2011 (showing 39,784 refugees as of February 24, 2010, 38,248 of whom had crossed into Nimba County in Liberia).

[69] UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Media Advisory Liberia: Humanitarian needs growing as influx of Ivorian refugees continues, December 25, 2010.

[70] Human Rights Watch interview with 40-year-old Ivorian refugee, Lougauto, Liberia, December 29, 2010.

[71] Human Rights Watch interview with Ivorian refugee, Kissiplay, Liberia, December 29, 2010.

[72] Human Rights Watch interview, Sacleipea, Liberia, December 31,2010.

[73] Human Rights Watch interview with 37-year-old refugee, Gborplay, Liberia, December 30, 2010.

[74] Human Rights Watch interview 39-year-old refugee, Gborplay, Liberia, December 29. 2010.

[75] Human Rights Watch interview with victim’s husband, Kissiplay, Liberia, December 29, 2010.

[76] Human Rights Watch interview with 36-year-old witness to two rapes, Kissiplay, Liberia, December 29, 2010.

[77] Human Rights Watch interview with 34-year-old female from a village where women were held, Bleimiplay, Liberia, December 30, 2010.