Ivory Coast president pardons 800 people including ex-first lady

The president of the Ivory Coast has pardoned 800 people, including the former first lady Simone Gbagbo, who was serving a 20-year sentence for her role in the deadly post-election violence of 2010.

Gbagbo was convicted of undermining state security, disturbing public order and organising armed gangs when her husband, Laurent Gbagbo, refused to accept the election result and leave the presidential palace.

The man who won that election, Alassane Ouattara, announced he would free her and hundreds of others in the interests of “peace and true reconciliation”.

“On Monday I signed an amnesty order that will benefit about 800 citizens prosecuted or sentenced for offences related to the post-election crisis of 2010, or state security offences committed after May 21, 2011,” the president said, adding that 500 of them had already been released, but would have their criminal records erased. The other 300 would be released soon, he said.

The Guardian