Urgent Action Update: Human Rights Defender Facing Bogus Charges (Chad: UA 7.20)

September 11, 2020

On 24 January, Baradine Berdei Targuio, a Chadian human rights defender, was arrested at his home in N’Djamena by masked and armed individuals. Amnesty International was informed that he was being kept at the National Security Agency (ANS), but nobody was able to see him. Although the Minister of Justice declared in February that Baradine Berdei Targuio’s arrest was legal and under the supervision of a prosecutor for “subversive activities on social media”, it wasn’t until 21 August that he was eventually presented to a prosecutor and an investigative judge. He was charged with breach of national security, illegal possession of weapons, assault and battery. Amnesty International is concerned that Baradine Berdei Targuio is being detained and prosecuted in connection with his work as a human rights defender.

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  1. Write a letter in your own words or using the sample below as a guide to one or both government officials listed. You can also email, fax, call or Tweet them.
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CONTACT INFORMATION

Minister Djimet Arabi, Minister of Justice
Email: [email protected]
Ambassador Ngote Gali Koutou
Embassy of the Republic of Chad
2401 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC 20008
Phone: 202 652 1312
Email: [email protected]
Salutation: Dear Ambassador

SAMPLE LETTER

Your Excellency,

I am writing in concern of Baradine Berdei Targuio, the President of the Chadian Human Rights Organization. On 24 January, he was arrested by masked and armed men at this home and, according to several sources, taken to the National Security Agency (ANS) where he was not seen or heard from by anyone for almost seven months. Arrest and detention in this manner constitutes an enforced disappearance.

On 22 January, two days before his arrest, he posted on Facebook about the health of the President saying that he “might be seriously ill and hospitalized in France”, and had previously addressed an open letter to the President about the human rights situation in the northern region of Tibesti, Chad, in the context of the state of emergency in November 2018. After almost seven months in arbitrary and incommunicado detention, Baradine Berdei Targuio was presented to a prosecutor and an investigative judge on 21 August and on 24 August charged with breach of national security, illegal possession of weapons, assault and battery.

Amnesty International is concerned that the charges brought against Baradine Berdei Targuio are bogus and in connection with his work as a human rights defender. Amnesty notes that they relate to actions that allegedly took place during his arrest in January yet have not been brought by the authorities until August.

I ask you to immediately and unconditionally release Baradine Berdei Targuio and drop the charges against him; and pending his release, ensure that he is protected from torture and other ill-treatment in detention and has regular access to his family and lawyers. I also urge you to ensure a prompt, thorough, and transparent investigation is carried out.

Yours sincerely,

[YOUR NAME]

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES