Report: "Rising cost of dissent in Chad"
In its 14th September 2017 report - Between recession and repression: The rising cost of dissent in Chad - Amnesty International outlines the increasing repression of dissent in Chad over the last two years. Discontent and dissent among citizens have grown in the past two years within the context of highly contested presidential elections in April 2016; an economic crisis caused by a sharp drop in the price of crude oil; and continued, severe attacks on civilians by Boko Haram. The authorities have intensified efforts to repress the freedoms of expression, assembly and association. Some of the findings in the report include:
- The government denied authorisation for more than 65 associations to organise peaceful assemblies;
- The Minister of Public Security and Immigration declared unregistered social movements and platforms, such as Iyina and Ça Suffit (It's Enough), as 'illegal', using this as a justification to arrest the leaders of these movements and platforms; and
- Between January 2016 and July 2017, Amnesty documented the prosecution of ten human right defenders and three journalists on the basis of them exercising their right to freedom of expression, assembly and association. In other cases, activists have been arrested and initially charged, with the charges being dropped later.
Amnesty International Regional Director for West and Central Africa Alioune Tine stated that:
"Security forces and intelligence agency are overseeing a brutal crackdown which has made criticism of government increasingly dangerous over the past two years and now threatening to steer the country back to dark days of repression".
On 2nd October 2017, security forces quickly dispersed students who threatened to protest in N'Djamena. Angry students burned a vehicle tire and broke the window of a vehicle.
According to a statement, opposition leader Saleh Kebzabo declared that security forces used excessive force during a mission on 5th and 6th August in Moundou with leaders of opposition parties in support of Laoukein Kourayo Médard - former mayor of Mandou who has been detained since 13th July. At least 16 telephones were taken from the members, while artist and painter Bruno Guelkort was harassed and finally arrested, accused of making T-shirts with an effigy of Médard on them.