Chad: Deaths following violent crackdown on protests must be investigated

 

Following the deaths yesterday of at least five protesters and the announcement by Chad’s opposition and civil society organizations of new protests today, Marceau Sivieude, Amnesty International’s West and Central Africa Deputy Director, said:

“Yesterday’s protests in Chad have led to the death of at least five people, according to the authorities. Many more people were also injured and arrested.

We urge authorities to launch impartial and independent investigations into the circumstances of these deaths and bring to justice anyone suspected to be responsible of unlawful killing.

“These protests are happening in response to the seizure of power by a Transitional Military Council (CMT in French), two weeks ago, after Chad's President Idriss Déby died.

“As opposition and civil society organizations have renewed their call for new protests today, authorities must ensure people can safely exercise their right to peaceful assembly. No one should face arrest for simply exercising their rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression and all those detained for that reason should be immediately and unconditionally released.”

Background

A coalition of civil society organizations and opposition parties also known as ‘Wakit Tama’- meaning the time has come in local Arabic language- called yesterday for protests denouncing what they consider an "institutional coup" and "dynastic succession" following the seizure of power by the CMT headed by Mahamat Idriss Déby the son of President Idriss Déby.

The CMT has banned the protests and security forces cracked down on protesters leading to four deaths in the capital N’Djamena and one in the southern town of Moundou, according to prosecutors. However, the Convention of Human Rights in Chad - a group member of ‘Waakit Tama’ - said nine people died.

‘Wakit Tama’ has renewed its calls for more protests today. Earlier this year, Amnesty International documented a rapidly shrinking political and civic space in Chad with bans on demonstrations and arbitrary arrests.

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