Monday 15.10.2018 in Latest Developments in Chad Country Page
Media regulator suspends newspaper for three months
Chadian media regulator High Authority for Media and Broadcasting (HAMA) ordered, on 30th August 2018, the closure of the weekly newspaper Al-Chahed for a period of three months on grounds of 'plagiary' and 'spreading false news'. The charges relate to the newspaper's article 'Who is behind the Chadian rebel forces in the north?', claiming that both Qatar and Sudan are linked to armed rebels in northern Chad. The HAMA made the decision after complaints of the embassies of Qatar and Sudan, a decision qualified as 'disproportionate and arbitrary' by Reporters Without Borders.
Access to social media platforms restricted
According to Internet without Borders, access to social media platforms has been restricted in Chad for over 6 months. After the collection of data on connectivity in Chad, in collaboration with the social innovation company NetBlocks, the internet freedom organisation now has technical evidence of the duration, scale and sites targeted. As reported previously on the Monitor, the access to social media, messaging applications and certain sites was reported to have been restricted as of the end of March, although the level of restrictions could not be determined.
On 18th August 2018, a collective of lawyers initiated legal action against local telecommunication operators Airtel and Tigo for the restrictions in the access to social media platforms. In a hearing on 19th September 2018, lawyers of the two operators explained that they received orders from the regulatory authority. On 4th October 2018, a court in N'Djamena rejected the complaint from the collective of lawyers.
Les Tchadiens réagissent en masse contre la censure dans leur pays> @NetBlocks reçoit 26 000 mesures individuelles du blocage des réseaux sociaux !— Internet_SF (@Internet_SF) 1 October 2018
Il est grand temps que le gouvernement rétablisse l'accès aux réseaux sociaux #Tchad #Keepiton https://t.co/gifmHzjUVa
In a ministerial decree issued on 29th August 2018, Minister of Territorial Administration and Security Ahmad Bachir banned a sit-in of laureates of the certificate of Professional Aptitude for General Education Colleges (CAP-CEG), demanding their integration in the civil service, meant to take place on 30th August in N'Djamena.
A peaceful march, organised by the Syndicat de médecins du Tchad (Union of Chadian doctors - SYMED) to protest against the nomination of certain persons to technical posts within the Ministry of Public Health, and planned for 7th August 2018, was likewise banned.
Previously on 11th June 2018, the Minister of Territorial Administration and Security banned a peaceful protest of the lawyer's association, planned for 16th June 2018 in N'Djamena to demand to bring Noki Adam Charfadine - the former governor of Logone Oriental - and the local commander of the national police to justice.The Minister used the security reasons as ground to ban the protest. Both are accused of having ordered the local police to shoot at a vehicle of a lawyer in Doba, in the south of the country, at the end of May 2018, while he was transporting three of his clients who had been acquitted. As reported previously on the Monitor, magistrates started a strike following the incident. Lawyers, notaries and bailiffs followed suit on 31st May 2018. The magistrates' strike was suspended on 21st June 2018.