The study "Présumé.e innocent.e ? Étude sur la détention préventive en Côte d’Ivoire" is co-written by CERDAP2, FIACAT and ACAT CI as part of the implementation of the project to combat unjustified pre-trial detention supported by the European delegation in Côte d'Ivoire.

FIACAT, ACAT CI and CERDAP² would particularly like to thank the Ivorian authorities and all the technical partners who took part in this work.

Although international texts on the protection of human rights do not prohibit the use of pre-trial detention, they remind us that freedom is the rule and confinement the exception. In 2014, the Commissioner to the ACHPR and Special Rapporteur on Prisons and Conditions of Detention in Africa made this observation: "Pretrial detainees are often in the shadow of the criminal justice system because their detention and treatment are not subject to the same levels of supervision as convicted prisoners. Pretrial detainees are subjected to conditions of detention that do not meet the right to life and dignity, and are vulnerable to human rights violations". It is therefore the legal and material conditions under which this practice takes place that need to be studied. The legal analysis cannot do without the social representations of pre-trial detention, nor the judicial practices inherent in its quasi-systematic use.

Consideration of all the issues related to pre-trial detention therefore requires that they be included in a broader reflection on the meaning of penal reform and to question prison as a political project.

The study has thus put into perspective the dynamics on which local actors are likely to be able to rely in order to extend and sustain their actions in favour of the respect of judicial guarantees.


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