Draconian steps muzzle critics of Chadian government – Amnesty
THE CHADIAN government is using increasingly repressive measures against human rights activists, journalists, unionists, and civil society organisations who dare to criticise the government.
Using repressive laws and a draconian intelligence service, the government was muzzling and hampering the work of critics as they face increasing danger from the state, Amnesty International said in a report published yesterday.
“Security forces and the intelligence agency are overseeing a brutal crackdown which… is now threatening to steer the country back to the dark days of repression,” said Alioune Tine, the director of Amnesty International West and Central Africa.
The report documents how the authorities have, in recent years, responded to growing public discontent with restrictions on the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly.
Over the past two years, 10 websites critical of the government have been blocked and 65 associations refused authorisation for peaceful protests, said Amnesty.
Chad’s Minister of Public Security and Immigration declared unregistered social movements and media platforms as illegal, and used this ban to justify the arrest of civil society leaders, including Nadjo Kaina and Bertrand Solloh of Iyina.
The national agency for security has been targeting and arresting human rights activists, detaining them in unofficial detention facilities without access to family and legal representation.
Social media platforms were banned last year and remain censored as journalists are jailed or receive hefty fines for critical reporting.