Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders Annual Report 2006 - Chad
|Publisher||International Federation for Human Rights|
|Publication Date||14 March 2007|
|Cite as||International Federation for Human Rights, Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders Annual Report 2006 - Chad, 14 March 2007, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/48747ccf39.html [accessed 24 October 2014]|
|Disclaimer||This 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.|
Harassment and threats against LTDH and ATPDH members
Arbitrary arrest and serious threats against Mr. Mingar Monodji21
On April 24, 2006, four individuals in military uniform arrested Mr. Mingar Monodji, chair of the N'Djamena 7th district branch of the Chadian League for Human Rights (Ligue tchadienne des droits de l'Homme – LTDH) while on his way home. The soldiers reproached him for having been in contact with reporters for Radio France Internationale (RFI) and the Agence France Presse (AFP) on April 17 and 18, 2006. Noticing his LTDH membership card, they further accused him of holding "the mercenaries' ID card" and declared: "Your organisation is a one of traitors and mercenaries, all LTDH members are Southerners. Why don't you stand for our brothers in the East? When one of you guys dies though, you shout as if you were more Chadian than the rest of us".
Mr. Monodji was released without charge on April 27, 2006 and had to be immediately hospitalised following serious ill-treatment inflicted by the soldiers while in detention.
Before they released him, the officers further threatened him with death and declared: "If you don't go and tell your shithead of LTDH president and this woman who shouts every day on the radio that Mr. Déby should resign [referring to Ms. Delphine Djiraibe, a lawyer and former director of 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)] to stop talking nonsense, we'll kill you one by one after the May 3 [presidential] election – starting with you".
Lack of investigation into Ms. Delphine Djiraibe's assault22
In 2006, no investigation was opened into the attack led against Ms. Delphine Djiraibe in May 2005.
On May 24, 2005, Ms. Djiraibe was attacked after she participated in the hearing aimed at cancelling the results of the referendum amending the Constitution of March 31, 1996. After she left the N'Djamena Supreme Court that day, Ms. Djiraibe was followed by two men riding a motorbike who crashed into her car as she was stepping out in front of her office. The two assailants then insulted and threatened her before taking flight upon passers-by's intervention.
Arbitrary detention and release of Mr. Tchanguiz Vatankhah23
On April 28, 2006, Mr. Tchanguiz Vatankhah, founder and director of the Association for the Protection of Environment and Persons' Rights (Association pour la protection de l'environnement et des droits des personnes – APEDP), editor-in-chief of Radio Brakoss, a community radio station operating in Moissala, president of the Union of Chadian Private Radios (Union des radios privées du Tchad – URPT), and an Iranian refugee residing in Chad for the last 30 years, was arrested and placed in detention at the N'Djamena central police station.
His arrest followed the publication of an URPT press release dated April 25, 2006 and signed by Mr. Vatankhah who called for the presidential election of May 3, 2006 to be postponed.
Mr. Vatankhah, who was denied access to a lawyer and his family, went on hunger strike until May 17, 2006.
He was released on May 19, 2006 during a ceremony held at the office of the Minister for Human Rights.
Mr. Vatankhah filed a complaint for unlawful detention jointly with several other local human rights organisations, against the commander of the Bahr Sara gendarmerie squad in May 2006.
On September 17, 2006, the gendarmerie commander warned the head of the LTDH youth commission that members of human rights associations "shall start digging their own graves". He further named as "slaves" two journalists working for Radio Brakoss, Messrs. Marcel Ngarkoto and Kallassal Mingar.
As of the end of 2006, Mr. Vatankhah's complaint against the commander of the Bahr Sara gendarmerie had not yet been examined.
Ms. Jacqueline Moudeïna's aggressor appointed to a governmental position24
On May 30, 2006, the President of the Republic, Mr. Idriss Deby Itno, signed the Decree No. 378 appointing individuals to high-ranking official positions. On this occasion, Mr. Mahamat Wakayé was promoted Director of the road, river and lake safety department of the Ministry of Infrastructure, a position bearing important, potentially coercive powers.
Mr. Wakayé was commanding the N'Djamena's police as general superintendent when security forces violently dispersed a peace march organised by women's groups on June 11, 2001 to protest against the electoral fraud that occurred during the presidential election. Police forces notably threw grenades at the demonstrators, seriously wounding Ms. Jacqueline Moudeïna, ATPDH legal officer, a lawyer for the victims in the Hissène Habré case in Chad and Senegal, and laureate of the 2003 Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders (MEA)25.
On March 18, 2002, Ms. Moudeïna and six other women lodged a complaint with the N'Djamena Court against three police officials, namely Messrs. Mahamat Wakayé, Mahamat Idriss and Taher Babouri, for illegal violence and grievous bodily harm.
In 2003, Mr. Wakayé was promoted to the position of Director of the criminal investigation police department.
On November 17, 2004, the N'Djamena Court of Appeal upheld the decision of the N'Djamena Criminal Court of November 11, 2003 to discharge the three attackers.
Arbitrary arrest and detention of Mr. Evariste Ngaralbaye26
On October 27, 2006, Mr. Evariste Ngaralbaye, a journalist for the independent weekly Notre Temps, was summoned by the National Department of Criminal Investigation (Section nationale des recherches judiciaires – SNRJ) of the N'Djamena gendarmerie. He was accused of "defamation" and "insult to the armed forces' honour and morale", and was immediately taken to custody.
Mr. Ngaralbaye was arrested after publishing an article in the October 24, 2006 edition of Notre Temps entitled "The conflict in the East: a useless war", in which he denounced the enlistment of child-soldiers in the Chadian regular army. This article was mainly based on testimonies of teenagers' parents claiming that armed forces had enroled their children to fight against the rebels based in Eastern Chad.
Mr. Ngaralbaye was released on grounds of technical irregularities on October 31, 2006 as no complaint had been lodged against him at the time of his arrest. The same day, however, the Commander-inchief of the national gendarmerie officially pressed charges against him.
On November 2, 2006, Mr. Ngaralbaye appeared before the Public Prosecutor who notified him that he would soon be summoned to court.
The journalist and his lawyer went to the Prosecutor's office again on November 3, 2006 to obtain a copy of the file in order to prepare his defence. On this occasion, the Prosecutor reportedly claimed that this file did not exist.
As of the end of 2006, proceedings remained pending.
[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.]
20. See Urgent Appeal CAF 002/1006/OBS 120.
21. See LTDH.
22. See Annual Report 2005.
23. See Annual Report 2005 and Joint Press Releases of the Observatory and Agir ensemble pour les droits de l'Homme, May 17 and 22, 2006.
24. See Annual Report 2004.
25. The Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders (MEA), created in 1993, is a unique collaboration among eleven of the world's leading non-governmental human rights organisations to give protection to human rights defenders worldwide. The jury is composed of: Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Human Rights First, FIDH, OMCT, the International Commission of Jurists, Diakonie Germany, the International Service for Human Rights, International Alert, Front Line, and Huridocs.
26. See Urgent Appeal TCD 001/1106/OBS 139.