In May, authorities lifted censorship of local newspapers and blanket restrictions on radio news coverage as a six-month state of emergency expired. The state of emergency was imposed in late 2006 in response to unrest in eastern Chad. Censorship was initially adopted for a 12-day period in November 2006 but was later extended.
In response to deadly interethnic clashes in northern Chad, authorities issued a 12-day state of emergency in three northeastern regions on October 16, reinstating blanket restrictions on nationwide media coverage, according to news reports. The measure was subsequently extended for another 45 days, according to local journalists.
In October, authorities in the eastern town of Abéché detained two French journalists covering an aborted attempt by an organization named Zoe's Ark to fly 103 purported Darfuri orphans to France for adoption. Reporter Marc Garmirian of the news agency Capa and photographer Jean-Daniel Guillou of the photo agency Synchro-X were traveling with Zoe's Ark to report on the organization's activities when police intercepted a convoy of aid workers and children headed for the local airport, according to news reports. The journalists were held for 10 days on kidnapping complicity charges but were released on bail after intervention from French President Nicolas Sarkozy. The organization had portrayed the children as orphans from Darfur, but U.N. officials said most appeared to have living parents. Six organization workers were convicted on kidnap charges in December and returned to France for execution of their sentences.
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