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Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders Annual Report 2004 - Chad

Publisher International Federation for Human Rights
Publication Date 14 April 2005
Cite as International Federation for Human Rights, Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders Annual Report 2004 - Chad, 14 April 2005, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/48747c892e.html [accessed 26 October 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Arbitrary arrest and torture of Mr. Tchanguiz Vathankha61

On 9 February 2004, Mr. Tchanguiz Vathankha, director of the private station Radio Brakoss based in Moissala (600 km south of N'Djamena), which regularly broadcasts critical programmes, condemning in particular attacks on human rights committed by the Chadian authorities, was arrested by the local police. This arrest followed the airing, a few days earlier, of an interview with Mr. Saleh Kebzabo, leader of the National Union for Development and Renewal (Union nationale pour le développement et le renouveau – UNDR), an opposition party, who expresses his views on the socio-economic situation in Chad.

While being held at the police station in Moissala, Mr. Vathankha was severely tortured, before being released on 11 February 2004. When examined in the hospital in Moissala, Mr. Vathankha was found to be in a critical condition as a result of violent blows to his head, which had caused an eye haemorrhage and damage to the retina, as well as to his legs and thorax.

In addition, Radio Brakoss was closed down on the orders of Mr. Douba Dalissou, Prefect of Bahr Sara (south), from 11 to 16 February 2004, when it was able to broadcast a limited programming.

Furthermore, when the new Minister for Communications visited Radio Brakoss in September 2004, a high-ranking officer from the Chadian army who accompanied the Minister publicly threatened Mr. Vathankha with death.

At the end of December 2004, the programmes of Radio Brakoss were no longer officially restricted, but Mr. Vathankha's health is still affected by the torture he underwent.

Continued harassment of FM Liberté and death threats against Messrs. Evariste Ngaralbaye and Allahissem Ibn Miangar62

Between 15 and 20 April 2004, the radio station FM Liberté, created by independent human rights NGOs for which it has become the principal communications link in Chad, broadcast a spot calling for a revision of the Chadian Constitution.

On 5 May 2004, following this broadcast, the High Council for Communications (Haut Conseil de la Communication – HCC) issued a formal notice against the radio station.

On 5 June 2004, FM Liberté broadcast an interview with the Ivorian musician Mr. Tiken Djah Fakoly, which had been recorded on 31 May 2004 by Mr. Evariste Ngaralbaye, editor in chief and programme coordinator for FM Liberté, and Mr. Allahissem Ibn Miangar, radio presenter. During the interview, Mr. Djah Fakoly had spoken out against the dictatorial regimes in Africa, and had notably cited the President of Chad, Mr. Idriss Deby. On 9 June 2004, FM Liberté received a leaflet signed by the "death squads", accusing Messrs. Ngaralbaye and Ibn Miangar of inciting the listeners to revolt and threatening them with death. On that same day, FM Liberté received a telephone call from the director of the HCC demanding a copy of the interview with Mr. Djah Fakoly. A few days later, Mr. Ngaralbaye and the director of FM Liberté received a summons from the HCC, threatening the radio station with closure. This threat, however, was not carried out, after the board of directors negotiated with the HCC at the beginning of August 2004.

On 8 August 2004, Mr. Ngaralbaye received, at his home, a second leaflet from the "death squads", threatening "to step up a gear". Mid August 2004, the director general of the national police arrived at the editorial department of FM Liberté, and demanded, in the name of the President of the Republic, a copy of the recording of the interview with Mr. Djah Fakoly, which was returned to him that same day.

From June to September 2004, Mr. Ibn Miangar's house was constantly watched by unidentified men, in unregistered vehicles with tinted windows. Faced with this pressure, Mr. Ibn Miangar went into hiding at the end of September 2004, and today lives outside of Chad.

Finally, on 21 October 2004, Mr. Ngaralbaye was attacked by two men in front of his house, when he was about to return home. After beating him, the two attackers stole his mobile phone and his passport.

The radio station FM Liberté had been closed down by decree of the Ministry of Public Security and Immigration from 21 October to 17 December 2003, because of "illegal operations and deviant behaviour".

Assassination attempts against the president of the LTDH63

On 22 February 2004, a man claiming to be a Chadian army officer arrived at the National Office for Rural Development (Office national de développement rural), where Mr. Dobian Assingar, president of the Chadian League for Human Rights (Ligue tchadienne des droits de l'Homme – LTDH) works. After he entered M. Assingar's office, the man pointed a gun at him. Mr. Assingar was, however, able to put his attacker to flight.

On 20 October 2004, while Mr. Assingar was on his way to Moundou, in the south of the country, at the request of the National Cotton Company (Cotontchad), bullets were fired at the passenger side of his company car, where he was sitting. The shots, fired from a distance of about fifty metres, shattered the windscreen without hitting him, thanks to the speed of the vehicle.

Since none of the complaints lodged by Mr. Assingar following previous assassination attempts were investigated, he gave up taking any legal step to these attacks.

Impunity confirmed for the attackers of Mrs. Jacqueline Moudeïna64

On 11 June 2001, during a peace march by women protesting against the electoral fraud observed during the presidential election, the security forces threw grenades at the demonstrators. Mrs. Jacqueline Moudeïna, legal officer at the Chadian Association for the Defence and Promotion of Human Rights (Association tchadienne pour la défense et la promotion des droits de l'Homme – ATPDH), a lawyer for the victims in the Hissène Habré case in Chad and Senegal, and laureate of the 2003 Martin Ennals Award, was seriously wounded on that occasion. On 18 March 2002, Mrs. Moudeïna and six other women lodged a complaint with the N'Djaména court against three police officers, Messrs. Mahamat Wakaye, Mahamat Idriss and Taher Babouri, for illegal violence and grievous bodily harm.

The decision of the N'Djamena correctional court, which had decided to acquit Mrs. Moudeïna's three attackers on 11 November 2003, was upheld by the N'Djamena Court of Appeal on 17 November 2004.


[Refworld note: This report as posted on the FIDH website (www.fidh.org) was in pdf format with country chapters run together by region. Footnote numbers have been retained here, so do not necessarily begin at 1.]

60. See Urgent Appeal CAF 001/0604/OBS 042.

61. See Open Letter to the Chadian authorities, 24 February 2004.

62. See Annual Report 2003 and Urgent Appeal TCD 001/1003/OBS 056.1.

63. See Annual Report 2002.

64. See Annual Report 2003.

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