Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders Annual Report 2005 - Chad
|Publisher||International Federation for Human Rights|
|Publication Date||22 March 2006|
|Cite as||International Federation for Human Rights, Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders Annual Report 2005 - Chad, 22 March 2006, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/48747caac.html [accessed 29 January 2015]|
|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.|
Defamation campaign and dismissal threats against Mr. Dobian Assingar9
On 9 March 2005, Chadian Prime Minister, Mr. Pascal Yoadimnadji, requested the Platform of Human Rights Associations (Collectif des Associations des droits de l'Homme – CADH) to remove Mr. Dobian Assingar, honorary president of the Chadian League for Human Rights (Ligue tchadienne des droits de l'Homme – LTDH), from his position as a CADH representative with the Group for Oil Resources Control and Surveillance (Collège de contrôle et de surveillance des ressources pétrolières – CCSRP). CADH argued that the Minister's demand was illegal and thus ignored it.
This request was submitted after Mr. Assingar, in a statement made on Radio France Internationale (RFI) on 2 March 2005, denounced as discriminatory the Law n°001/PR/99 on the management of petroleum revenues.
At the same time, pro-governmental media widely relayed the statements of the Prime Minister, who notably underlined "Mr. Assingar's profound ignorance of oil revenues management mechanisms".
Death threats, arbitrary arrest and harassment of several defenders10
Mr. Kagmbaye Mapideh, CADH president, and Mr. Gedeon Nekarmbaye, head of the Krim Krim section of the Chadian Association for Non-Violence (Association tchadienne pour la non-violence – ATNV), were regularly harassed by Mr. Paul Bedmbaye Naim, Krim Krim district chief (chef de canton), after they denounced his illegal deduction of 10% of the individual compensations paid to local peasants for the destruction of their properties by oil companies.
On 3 February 2005, Mr. Nekarmbaye was arbitrarily arrested and released two days later, after he agreed to pay an expensive fine. On 11 March 2005, Messrs. Nekarmbaye and Mapideh received a threatening letter from Mr. Bedmbaye Naim, stating that he did not "need any advice from CADH" and that he had "the power of life and death over all citizens in his district".
Furthermore, Mr. Nekarmbaye was arrested again on 14 March 2005, along with Messrs. Gabriel Banyo, Denis Diongoussou and Christian Djeratar, three CADH members. All four were released on the next day.
Furthermore, Mr. Evariste Mbaioundaguelem, president of Krim Krim section 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), and Mr. Patrice Mbaihoudou, president of the local ATNV section and vice-president of the Krim Krim section of ATPDH, were beaten by Mr. Bedmbaye, respectively in May and June 2005, after having opposed his aforementioned deduction.
Mr. Mbaihoudou subsequently filed a complaint with the Krim Krim subprefecture. The opening hearing, scheduled for 23 June 2005, was postponed until 11 July 2005 because of the absence of the sub-prefect, acting as a representative of the peace and justice judge in Krim Krim.
On 22 August 2005, Mr. Gedeon Nekarmbaye was again attacked and threatened with death at the Krim Krim police station by Messrs. Bedmbaye Naim and Issaka Djos, a retired military officer.
On 23 August 2005, the Public Prosecutor summoned Messrs. Mapideh and Nekarmbaye, along with the district chief, to carry out an investigation into the threats they had been subjected to by the Krim Krim authorities. Messrs. Mapideh and Nekarmbaye, however, refused to appear.
In October 2005, Mr. Mbaihoudou was once again subjected to acts of intimidation by the district chief that compelled him to drop the complaint.
Attack against Mrs. Delphine Kemneloum Djiraibe11
On 24 May 2005, Mrs. Delphine Kemneloum Djiraibe, a lawyer and former ATPDH president, was attacked after she participated in the trial aimed at cancelling the results of the referendum amending the Constitution adopted on 31 March 1996. After she left the N'Djamena Supreme Court that day, Mrs. Kemneloum Djiraibe was followed by two men riding a motorbike who crashed into her car as she was getting out of her vehicle in front of her office. The two assailants then insulted and threatened her before fleeing upon passers-by's intervention.
Detention and release of Mr. Tchanguiz Vathankha12
On 25 September 2005, Mr. Tchanguiz Vathankha, an Iranian refugee living in Chad for the past 30 years, founding member and director of the Association for the Protection of Nature and Environment (Association pour la protection de l'environnement et de la nature – APEN), and editor-in-chief of Radio Brakoss13 in Moissala, was arrested and taken to the N'Djamena central police station on the order of the Minister of Immigration and Public Security, Mr. Routouang Yoma Golom, who threatened him with deportation.
On 9 November 2005, the administrative chamber of the Supreme Court declared Mr. Vathankha's detention illegal on the grounds that his custody had exceeded the 48-hour time limit, and requested his release by the Ministry. The request introduced by the journalist's lawyer for suspending the deportation order, however, was not acknowledged by the Court, which considered it groundless since the government had not taken any concrete measures to expel him yet.
On 14 November 2005, the Minister of Immigration issued a deportation order against Mr. Vathankha, who was released on 29 November 2005 after being notified of a ban from leaving N'Djamena and from contacting the media.
Mr. Vathankha had been previously arrested by the local police on 9 February 2004, and subjected to torture and ill-treatments while in detention in the Moissala prefecture until his release on 11 February 2004. In addition, Radio Brakoss had been closed down on the order of the Bahr Sara (South) prefect from 11 to 16 February 2005. Furthermore, when the new Minister for Communications had visited Radio Brakoss in September 2004, a high-ranking officer from the Chadian army who accompanied the Minister had publicly threatened Mr. Vathankha with death.
By the end of 2005, Mr. Vathankha was still at risk of being deported.
Continued harassment of Mr. Allahissem Ibn Miangar14
Mr. Allahissem Ibn Miangar, announcer for the radio station FM Liberté, created by independent human rights NGOs and for which it has become the principal communications link in Chad, had been forced to go into hiding in September 2004 following constant acts of intimidation and harassment. By the end of 2005, Mr. Ibn Miangar had still been unable to resume his activities and was living outside the country.
[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.]
9. See Open Letter to the Chadian authorities, 22 March 2005.
10. See Urgent Appeal TCD 001/0705/OBS 048.
11. See Annual Report 2004.
12. See Annual Report 2004 and Urgent Appeals TCD 002/1105/OBS 118 and 118.1.
13. Mr. Vathankha created Brakoss community radio station to popularise nature and environment protection issues. The station regularly broadcasts critical programmes, notably denouncing the human rights violations perpetrated by the Chadian authorities – most particularly those committed against rural populations by traditional, military and administrative authorities.
14. See Annual Report 2004.