Annual Report: Chad 2013

Report
May 23, 2013

Annual Report: Chad 2013

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  • Monsignor Michele Russo, Catholic bishop of Doba, was expelled from Chad by the authorities on 14 October following an address he gave during a mass on 30 September. In his statement, broadcast by a Doba-based radio station, he denounced mismanagement by the authorities and unequal distribution of wealth from oil revenues of the region.

Journalists

The authorities continued to threaten media outlets and harass journalists.

  • On 18 September, Jean-Claude Nekim, chief editor of the bi-weekly newspaper N’Djamena Bi-Hebdo, was sentenced to one year’s suspended imprisonment and fined CFA 1 million (US$2,000) after his newspaper printed extracts from a petition issued by the Union of Chad Trade Unions (Union des syndicats du Tchad, UST). He was charged with “incitement of racial hatred” and “defamation”. The newspaper was also banned for three months. His appeal against the decision was still pending at the end of the year.

Human rights defenders

Human rights defenders, including trade union leaders, were attacked and continued to be subjected to intimidation and harassment by government officials. In some instances, the judiciary was used to silence them.

  • On 18 September, Michel Barka, Younous Mahadjir and François Djondang, all leading members of the UST, were sentenced to 18 months’ suspended imprisonment and each fined CFA 1 million (US$2,000). The N’Djamena First Instance Tribunal found the three men guilty of “incitement to racial hatred” and “defamation” in relation to the UST’s petition published earlier that month. Their appeal was pending at the end of the year.
  • On 19 October, Jacqueline Moudeina, a lawyer and president of the human rights organization Association tchadienne de promotion et de défense des droits de l’homme (ATPDH), was attacked by unidentified armed men in front of her house in N’Djamena. She was unharmed but her vehicle was taken by the men and found on 22 October in the village of Malo-Tama, 35km away. This incident occurred several days after Jacqueline Moudeina received the 2011 Right Livelihood Award for her human rights work. Arrests were made but by the end of the year it was not clear if anyone had been charged.
  • On 20 October, six men in the military uniform of the gendarmerie entered the compound of Dobian Assingar, a human rights activist and honorary president of the Chadian League of Human Rights (LTDH). They searched the house without a warrant and said they were looking for a stolen car. Dobian Assingar filed a complaint but no reply had been received by the end of the year.

Child soldiers

There were persistent reports during the year that children were recruited by the Chadian National Army, including massive numbers in February-March. The recruitment and use of children by Chadian and Sudanese armed groups also continued. Information collected by various sources between February and April reported that many children in the departments of Assoungha and Kimiti in eastern Chad, including already demobilized children who had been reunited with their families, regularly travelled to Sudan where they served in armed groups.

  • At least 24 children aged between 14 and 17 were found by social workers at the Mongo Military Training Center in June.

Housing rights – forced evictions

Forced evictions continued to take place throughout the year, even in cases where there was a court injunction against eviction. No alternative housing or compensation were offered to victims, even those who had won compensation before a court.