Chad Authorities Continue To Repress Freedom Of Speech

By: Rawan Alshehri

Planned peaceful protest gets restricted by Chad authorities

After the passing of Chad’s former President Idriss Deby, there has been a rise in the number of organizations in opposition to the ruling Wakit Tama party. The Wakit Tama party is ruled by a Transitional Military Council, led by the former President’s son, Mahamat Idriss Deby.

The various opposition organizations had planned a peaceful protest on Saturday, October 9th, but authorities cancelled it, claiming that it’s a risk of disrupting the public order.

“Authorities in Chad must end this campaign of intimidation against critical voices, respect and protect the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly,” said Abdoulaye Diarra, Amnesty International Central Africa researcher.

However, despite the authorities attempt to ban the peaceful event, the protesters still gathered in the capital N’Djamena. Although the event was mainly peaceful, several people sustained injuries at the hands of the police. Another 10 were shot with tear gas, and 45 were arrested.

Ever since the transition of power, there has been a constant restriction by the authorities against any act of protest, or any opinions critical of the Transitional Military Council. These acts of censorship are nothing but an obvious violation of the people’s freedom of speech, which is why the activists in Chad continue to fight.

The people of Chad can only hope one day, a fair ruling government that works to benefit people will be democratically elected to replace the Military Council.