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Reference : V-P-LR-E-00547
Date : 01/02/2012
Caption : Bong county, Wainsue internment camp. This internee is one of the 88 Ivorians arrested at the border between Liberia and his native Côte d'Ivoire.
Photographer : YAZDI, Pedram
Confidentiality level : public
Publication restrictions : publication without restrictions
Copyright : ICRC
Description : ICRC website, Photo gallery, 24-04-2012

Liberia: from internment to release

On 13 March 2012, the Liberian authorities released 69 Côte d’Ivoire nationals from an internment camp in Liberia and the ICRC transported them to a refugee camp near the Ivorian border. After the post-electoral violence in Côte d'Ivoire, thousands of Ivorians took refuge in Liberia. Some of them were detained by the Liberian authorities under a special regime: internment. An ICRC delegate, an internee and the manager of the camp tell their stories.

Internment, or administrative detention, is an exceptional measure that allows national authorities to deprive people of their freedom who have not committed any crime, but are nevertheless seen as posing a threat to state security or public order.

"At the end of March, we had to leave our village because of attacks on our area. My wife was visiting her family in a neighbouring village and I couldn’t join her because of road blocks. Knowing that nobody would harm women or children, I fled over the border into Liberia. When I arrived, I was detained for three months before being transferred to the internment camp. For me, the most difficult thing about internment is being so far from my family, my wife and my three children. All of us internees live together, but you can still feel really lonely.”

George is grateful for the assistance the ICRC provided: “The ICRC made it possible for us to contact our families in writing or by phone. They brought us food, and set up a proper water system in the camp. These things made our lives much easier. The ICRC also took the minors among us back to their families. And today the ICRC is providing the transport that will take us out of the internment camp and back to our families."

On 13 March 2012, the ICRC took George and 68 other internees to a refugee camp near the Ivorian border. Some were reunited with their families in the camp, while others, like George, will rejoin their families in Côte d'Ivoire.
Original material : digital
Resolution : 4256x2832
Orientation : landscape
Colour/B&W : colour