State of affairs in Chad: harassment of activists and prevention of protests
On 1st August 2017, the citizen movement IYINA denounced the threats, intimidation and harassment of its members, in particular of Nadjo Kaïna and Bertrand Solloand. On 30th July 2017, several police cars surrounded the two activists' homes for several hours without giving any indication of their motives. As previously reported on the Monitor, the two received a six-month suspended sentence in May for their peaceful activism.
As reported by Alwihda Info, journalist Boulga David of Dja FM was abducted by the National Security Agency on 29th May 2017, while reporting on a protest taking place in the 4th arrondissement (administrative district). He was released a couple of hours later. The intimidation and harassment of journalists by officers of the Chadian National Security Agency is not new. The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) alerted the international community in March 2017 to the harassment and intimidation of journalists Eric Kokinague of Tribune Info and Malachie Mbaigara of Mutations newspaper, which led both journalists to go into hiding for their safety.
On 20th June 2017, the director of local community radio Nada FM in Moundou, Beindé Bessandé Sylver, was sentenced to two years in prison and fined 100,000 FCFA (152 EUR) on charges of contempt of court and undermining judicial authority. The charges allegedly stem from the radio broadcasting the reaction of a municipal councilor on a six-month suspended prison sentence in a dispute with the head of Moundou city hall administration.
According to Alwihda Info, the media regulatory authority in Chad, Haute Conseil de la Communication, sent a formal notice to the quarterly newspaper Le Haute Parleur of violating article 16 of the country's journalism code of ethics in connection to articles published in its 21st July edition.
Minister of Public Security and Immigration Ahmad Mahamat Bachir issued an order on 6th June 2017 forbidding a protest organised by the project green belt of Gaoui for 7th June over the non-payment of salaries for the last several months. The Minister of Public Security and Immigration prohibited another protest planned by students for 31st May. The local branch of the Union nationale des étudiants tchadiens (National Union of Chadian students) at the University of Toukra planned to protest to demand better conditions for students and the payment of outstanding scholarships.