Demonstrations took place on Thursday, October 20, 2022, against the extension of the transition period in Chad and the continued rule of Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno. According to Chadian government figures, at least "fifty people were killed and more than 300 were injured". The signatories of this statement call on the Chadian authorities to immediately put an end to the repression of the demonstrators, in accordance with the Chadian Constitution and the international obligations to which Chad adheres. We call on international actors to act firmly to end this spiral of violence.
On Thursday, October 20, 2022, at the call of a platform bringing together part of the political opposition and civil society organizations, demonstrators took to the streets of the capital N'Djaména and several other provincial cities, including Moundou, to denounce the extension of the transition period. On October 10, following a so-called "national reconciliation" dialogue boycotted by part of civil society and the opposition, Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno was sworn in as transitional president for another 24 months. He also obtained the right to run as a candidate in the next presidential elections in contradiction with the decision of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union of August 3, 2021 and reaffirmed on September 19, 2022 setting the end of the transition at October 20, 2022 and prohibiting members of the Transitional Military Council (TMC) from running for election at the end of the transition.
The demonstration of October 20 was banned by the authorities, but numerous mobilizations were nevertheless organized in various neighborhoods in the cities of N'Djamena and Moundou, among others. These demonstrations were immediately suppressed by the security forces with the use of tear gas and live ammunition. According to the Prime Minister of the Chadian transitional government, at least "fifty" people were killed, including "ten" members of the security forces. There were also "more than 300 people wounded". But the toll could be much higher than that announced by the authorities. Civil society organizations continue to document the violence by visiting the various hospitals and health centers where many of the injured are located.
Among the casualties reported, we lament the death of the young journalist Narcisse Oredje. The artist Ray's Kim, who had been involved for many years in the promotion of human rights and democracy, was reportedly in hospital in intensive care after being shot. These two cases are emblematic of the brutality that befell all citizens in the streets of Chad on Thursday, October 20, 2022.
The UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Association and Peaceful Assembly, Clément Voule, reminded the Chadian authorities that "any use of excessive force against demonstrators exposes the perpetrators to prosecution in accordance with international standards". While human rights violations continue, France and the EU have supported the transition and maintained cooperation with Chad, including military and police cooperation.
The international community cannot simply deplore the violence and call for it to stop. The regime must be isolated and targeted sanctions must be put in place while ensuring that the Chadian population is not the first to be impacted.
The signatory organizations of this communiqué request:
- to the Chadian authorities to put an immediate end to the deliberate and excessive use of lethal force against demonstrators;
- all international actors (European states, the United States, the UN, the African Union, etc.) to condemn the use of force against peaceful demonstrations and to demand independent investigations into these massive human rights violations;
- France and the United States to suspend all cooperation with the defense and security forces involved in the violence;
- the entire international community, and in particular France and the EU, to consider implementing targeted sanctions against the Chadian government and those responsible for the repression.
Friday, October 21, 2022
- Action des chrétiens pour l’abolition de la torture (ACAT-France)
- Agir ensemble pour les droits humains
- Campaign for Human Rights and Development International
- CCFD – Terre solidaire
- Centre pour les droits de l'homme et la démocratie en Afrique (CHRDA)
- Civil Society Human Rights Advocacy Platform of LIBERIA
- Coalition Burkinabè des Défenseurs des Droits Humains (CBDDH)
- Coalition des défenseurs des droits humains au Bénin
- Coalition Ivoirienne des Défenseurs des Droits Humains (CIDDH)
- Coalition Malienne des Défenseurs des Droits Humains (COMADDH)
- Fédération internationale pour les droits humains (FIDH)
- Front Citoyen Togo Debout
- Gender Centre for Empowering Development
- Human Rights Defenders Network-SL
- International Service for Human Rights (ISHR)
- Institute for Democracy & Leadership (IDEAL) Swaziland
- Justice et Paix France
- Mouvement pour une Alternative Non-violente (MAN)
- Mozambique Human Rights Defenders Network
- Network of the Independent Commission for Human rights CIDH Africa
- Novation Internationale
- Observatoire Ivoirien des Droits de l'homme (OIDH)
- Organisation Mondiale Contre la Torture (OMCT)
- Protection International-Africa
- Réseau des défenseurs des droits humains en Afrique centrale (REDHAC)
- Réseau Nigérien des Défenseurs des Droits Humains (RNDDH)
- Réseau des défenseurs des droits humains en Guinée-Bissau
- Réseau ouest africain des défenseurs des droits de l'homme (ROADDH)
- ROTAB Publiez Ce Que Vous Payez
- Secours Caholique - Caritas France (SCCF)
- Southern Africa Human Rights Defenders Network (SouthernDefenders)
- Southern Africa Women Human Rights Defenders Network (SAWHRDN)
- Synergie Togo
- Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition (THRDC)
- Tournons La Page
- Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights ZLHR
Download the statement here