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Startseite Urgent Actions 2020 02 Human rights defender held incommunicado Human rights defender gets 3 year jail term
FI 007/20-2
Chad
Abgeschlossen am 6. Juli 2021

Human rights defender gets 3 year jail term

AI-Index: AFR 20/3941/2021

On 18 February, Chad’s Criminal Court sentenced human rights defender Baradine Berdei Targuio to three years in prison and a fine for «breach of the constitutional order». He was arrested on 24 January 2020 and spent nearly seven months in incommunicado detention before being charged in August 2020 with breach of national security, illegal possession of weapons, assault, and battery. Two days before his arrest, the human rights defender shared a Facebook post on the President’s suspected ill-health and penned an open letter to the President, expressing concern for the human rights situation in the Tibesti region in Chad. Amnesty International is concerned that Baradine Berdei Targuio’s detention is a sanction against his work as a human rights defender and therefore calls for his immediate and unconditional release.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Arrest or detention as punishment for the legitimate exercise of human rights, including the right to freedom of expression, is arbitrary and violates the African Charter of Human and Peoples’ Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has determined that those detained solely for the peaceful exercise of their human rights must be immediately released.

Baradine Berdei Targuio’s detention comes amidst a context of general repression of those exercising their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly in the country, particularly as presidential elections scheduled for April 2021 are approaching. More information on this situation can be found in Amnesty International’s latest press release on Chad.

The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights has called on all member states, in its resolution 466 on prisons and conditions of detention in Africa, to release different groups of detainees amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, including human rights defenders, «in order to reduce overcrowding in prisons and curb the spread of the Coronavirus».

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