7 December, 2020
FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION AND ASSEMBLY AT RISK: ARBITRARY ARREST AND DETENTION OF THREE HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS M. KEMBA DIDAH ALAIN FORMER SPOKES PERSON OF THE “LYNIA” MOVEMENT AND CURRENT COORDINATOR OF THE CITIZEN MOVEMENT LE TEMPS (MCT), AND HIS COLLEAGUES MR. BESSANE PRAISES AND MR. SALEH MAHAMADOU ON FM LIBERTE RADIO IN CHAD
URGENT CALL :
Douala-Ndjamena , November 28, 2020 : The Human Rights Defenders Network in Central Africa (REDHAC) has heard with great concern of the arbitrary and illegal arrest and detention of Mr. KEMBA Didah Alain, coordinator of the Mouvement Citoyen le Temps (MCT), and his collaborators Mr. BESSANE Éloge and Mr. Saleh MAHAMADOU at the premises of Radio Liberté by the Chadian national police. An operation that once again illustrates the dramatic deterioration of civic space in Chad and that REDHAC once again with all its might.
The Facts :
On November 27, 2020, Mr. KEMBA Didah Alain, Coordinator of the MCT and member of the organizing committee of the Citizen Forum 2020, was in a meeting in the premises of Radio Liberté with and his collaborators Mr. BESSANE Éloge and Mr. Saleh MAHAMADOU. It was there that they were arrested and taken to the services of the General Intelligence with other journalists of this privately- owned media.
A few hours later, some journalists were released. Mr. KEMBA Didah Alain, Coordinator of the MCT and member of the organizing committee of the Citizen Forum 2020, will remain in detention with his two main collaborators.
Mr. Kemba Didah Alain was introduced by the Deputy Public Prosecutor as a member of the organizing committee of the Citizens’ Forum 2020, which is banned by the Government. Bessane Éloge is accused of being the printer of the banner and Saleh Mahamadou the one who contacted this printer.
Mr. Kemba Didah Alain, accompanied the president of the organizing committee, who is expected to make a statement following the Minister’s Order No. 6 prohibiting the holding of the Citizen Forum.
The humiliating and degrading images that made the tour of the social networks in a state of law, show these defenders sitting on the ground in this period of global pandemic of Covid-19.
Not only Mr. KEMBA Didah Alain, Coordinator of the MCT and member of the organizing committee of the Citizen Forum 2020, and his collaborators Mr. BESSANE Éloge and Saleh MAHAMADOU, are forbidden to visit their relatives his collaborators, are subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment in the office of the Central Commissioner.
As a reminder
On April 25, 2019, Mr. KEMBA Didah Alain, spokesman of the Movement “Lynia” member of the Citizen Movement Le Temps and 12 other members of the organization had been arrested during a peaceful march against the shortage of butane gas by the police and referred to the prosecutor’s office in the absence of the public prosecutor Youssouf Tom, in charge of the case. Defenders were prohibited from visiting.
All of the above,
- The arrest and detention of Mr. KEMBA Didah Alain, Coordinator of the MCT and member of the organizing committee of the Citizen Forum 2020, his collaborators BESSANE Éloge and Saleh MAHAMADOU are arbitrary and illegal;
- They are victims of inhuman and degrading treatment and are under intolerable psychological pressure;
- Their detention is related to their work as Human Rights
This is why REDHAC :
- Denounces and condemns the repeated attacks on fundamental freedoms (associations, demonstrations, expression and information) in Chad in particular and in Central Africa in general;
- Firmly condemns the intrusion of police officers into Radio FM Liberté, which flagrantly violates the freedoms of expression, assembly and communication guaranteed by the constitution of Chad in its TITLE: II, article 28 which stipulates that “the freedoms of opinion, expression, communication; conscience, religion, press, circulation, association, assembly, circulation, demonstration are guaranteed to all;
Then the REDHAC :
- Calls on the Chadian authorities to instruct the magistrates and security agents, in particular Commissioner Paul Manga, to respect the code of criminal procedure, the conventions and instruments of the United Nations, in this case the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in its Article 9 paragraphs 1 and 5: “1. Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention. No one shall be deprived of his liberty except on such grounds and in accordance with such procedure as are established by (…) 5. Everyone who is the victim of unlawful arrest or detention shall have the right to compensation. » ;
- Reminds the judiciary that any person arrested is presumed innocent until proven guilty by a fair trial as provided for in the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Article 7 b. “the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty by a fair and impartial court of competent jurisdiction…”.
Recommends that the instigators of this arbitrary arrest and those who subjected Mr. KEMBA Didah Alain, Mr. BESSANE Éloge and Mr. Saleh MAHAMADOU to acts of torture and inhuman and degrading treatment be held accountable in accordance with Article 4 of the Convention against Torture, which states: “Each State Party shall ensure that all acts of torture constitute offences under its criminal law. The same shall apply to attempts to commit torture or any act by any person who constitutes complicity or participation in torture.
- Urges the government of Chad to establish a legal framework for the effective protection of defenders and
- Thank you for any urgent action you may take to obtain the release of KEMBA Didah Alain, and his collaborators Mr. BESSANE Éloge and Mr. Saleh MAHAMADOU.
USEFUL ADDRESSES :
Presidency of the Republic: Mr IDRISS DEBY ITNO Tel: (+225 22 51 44 37 – 22 51 51
39) Fax: 00235 2251450 Address: BP 74 N’djamena tchad, Email address: [email protected]
Minister of Territorial Administration and Autonomous Communities: Mr. Mahamat Ismael Chaibo : Tel : (+235 22 51 12 72) BP : 6631 N’DJAMÉNA
Minister of Justice, Keeper of the Seals, in charge of Human Rights: Mr. Djimet Arabi Tel : (+225 66 25 27 33)
Public Prosecutor: Mr. OUSSOUF Tom Tel: (+225 66 23 48 39)
FOR ALL USEFUL INFORMATION: FOLLOW THE REDHAC