Last Updated: Wednesday, 17 September 2014, 08:34 GMT

Attacks on the Press in 2006 - Snapshots: Chad

Publisher Committee to Protect Journalists
Publication Date February 2007
Cite as Committee to Protect Journalists, Attacks on the Press in 2006 - Snapshots: Chad, February 2007, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/47c5674d8.html [accessed 17 September 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.

Rebel fighters who briefly seized the central town of Mongo abducted journalist Eliakim Vanambyl, editor of the N'Djamena-based radio station FM Liberté, in April. Vanambyl had traveled to Mongo to report on a human rights conference. He was released six days later, and the reason for his capture remained unclear. Vanambyl was not mistreated while in captivity, local journalists said.

Also in April, security forces in the capital, N'Djamena, detained and badly beat René Dillah Yombirim, a correspondent for the BBC and the state-owned Radiodiffusion Nationale Tchadienne, following an attempt by rebels to overthrow the government. It was unclear what motivated the attack. Security forces confiscated Yombirim's recording equipment and listened to recordings of his interviews, according to journalist and human rights activist Dobian Assingar.

At the end of April, Iranian-born journalist and then-head of the Chadian Union of Private Radios Tchanguis Vatankah was jailed for three weeks after he signed a union press release calling for a postponement of the May presidential elections. Vatankah told CPJ that authorities had dropped a threat to deport him after he promised to keep out of politics and to step down as the head of the union. The threat dated from 2005, when Vatankah, founder of the community station Radio Brakos, had been jailed for two months.

Evariste Ngaralbaye, a journalist for the private weekly Notre Temps, was jailed October 27 for four days without charge at the gendarmerie, the national police headquarters, in the capital, N'Djamena. Police pressed him to reveal his sources for an editorial critical of the government's conduct of its war against rebels in eastern Chad. The article alleged that the gendarmerie and the army widely conscripted underage youths. Ngaralbaye was released because of procedural irregularities, Justice Minister Abderamane Djasnabaye told CPJ.

On November 13, authorities barred private newspapers and radio stations from reporting on issues "likely to threaten public order," according to a government statement. This was part of a state of emergency introduced in response to clashes between Arab and non-Arab communities in eastern Chad. The measures were taken initially for 12 days and then extended to six months. Newspapers in N'Djamena suspended publication for a week in protest, or published black strips to show where text had been censored, according to local journalists.

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