Three leaders of the Chadian civil society have been arrested and detained by police in N’Djamena, after calling for protests against President Idriss Deby Itno, police sources disclosed.
The spokesman of the coalition “Ça suffit” which literally means “Enough,” Mahamat Nour Ahmed Ibedou, was arrested on Monday “for distributing leaflets calling for a peaceful walk” the next day, a police source told AFP on condition of anonymity.
The activist, under police detention, has been dragged before the public prosecutor who has opened investigations, the source said.
On Tuesday, two other figures from the civil society, the Secretary General of the Union of Trade Unions of Chad (UST), Yunus Mahadjir and the spokesman of the movement “Iyina”, which means “we’re tired” in local Arabic, Kaina Nadjo Palmer, were in turn arrested by the police and under detention, a police officer in the city said.
Civil society organizations have recently urged people to march peacefully in all cities of the country to protest against the candidacy of incumbent President Idriss Deby Itno in the presidential elections of April 10.
The protests go against the ban on Saturday by the Minister of Public Safety and Immigration, Ahmat Mahamat Bachir, of “any public demonstration outside the scope of the campaign. Only events of the presidential candidates are now allowed,” he said.
Following the ban, no demonstration was reported on Tuesday at midday in N’Djamena or province.
Amnesty International has however denounced the arrest of the spokespersons of “Ça suffit” and “Iyina” in a statement.
“Within three weeks of the presidential election, the arrest and detention of two activists sends a worrying signal about the restrictions of human rights,” said Samira Daoud, Deputy Director of Amnesty for West and Central Africa.
The charges against them are “disturbing public order and creating resistance to the action of the authorities as they were arrested for exercising their legitimate right to freedom of expression, association and assembly,” said Amnesty, which calls for their “immediate and unconditional release.”
Idris Deby came to power in 1990 and is standing as candidate for a fifth term facing 13 other candidates.