259 condemned “Black Thursday” protesters pardoned and released
259 “Black Thursday” condemned protesters released
Following a pardon issued by the Head of State and transitional President Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno at the end of March 2023, 259 people who were sentenced to prison for participating in the protests of 20th October 2022 were released on 8th April 2023. As reported previously on the Monitor, a total of 261 people were sentenced - during a mass trial of 401 people between 29th November and 4th December 2022 - to prison terms ranging from two to three years on a range of charges including taking part in an authorised gathering, destroying belongings, arson and disturbing public order.
Dozens of people who were arrested in the context of the protests of 20th October remain in prison, although authorities have not given updated figures.
Transitional authorities and security forces in Chad violently repressed the mass protests against the extension of the military transitional period on 20th October 2022, also known as “Black Thursday”, in which, officially, at least 73 people, possibly many more, were killed and at least 300 injured.
Chad’s National Human Rights Commission, in a report made public in February 2023, documented the killing of 128 people, the disappearance of 12 people and the arrest of 943 people in addition to 518 people who were injured during the “Black Thursday” protests.
Journalist briefly detained
According to news reports, on 23rd March 2023 security forces detained journalist Kouchakbé Zoumnone, who works for radio station Vision FM, at university hospital Hôpital Générale de Référence Nationale (HGRN) in N’Djamena, and taken to a police station. The journalist was there in an attempt to obtain information on and interview a young man whose legs were amputated as a result of having been subjected to torture and ill-treatment in Kalaït, Ennedi-Ouest Region. He was released later that day.