- 10 May 2016
- [International Secretariat]
- Region: REPUBLIC OF CHAD
The Chadian authorities must clarify the fate of several members of the security and defense forces presumed “missing” after apparently voting against the party in power, and order an independent inquiry into the ill-treatment suffered by others, Amnesty International and the Chadian Human Rights League (LTDH)today declared.
According to media reports, more than 40 members of the defense and security forces have been missing since 9 April, the day of the presidential election. The two human rights organizations have confirmation of more than 20 cases of alleged disappearances.In response to allegations that members of the defense and security forces had disappeared, the authorities stated that the individuals in question were currently deployed on a mission.
On 21 April, four of those presumed missing were presented on national television as evidence that they were still alive. No information on their whereabouts was given to their families, however, who have had no news from them and do not know when they are due to return.
These families have also stated that it is extremely unusual for their loved ones to leave on a mission without telling them. Their colleagues were furthermore unaware that any such deployment was planned.
Amnesty International and the Chadian Human Rights League have met with members of the defense and security forces who state that they were arrested, assaulted and detained on 9 April. The organizations have also gathered evidence from some 20 people who claim their family members disappeared after voting.
According to information received by Amnesty International and the Chadian Human Rights League, military commanders were forcing members of the defense and security forces to publicly vote for the party in power at least two polling stations. Those who did not comply were publicly beaten or detained in a cell for several hours.
In addition to those who are still apparently missing, several more security officers were arrested on the same day and later released. One police officer Amnesty International met said that around 40 people were crowded into a single cell measuring 4 x 5 meters for some 19 hours before being released.
The presidential elections took place on 10 April, with the security forces voting a day earlier. On 21 April, President Idriss Deby won the presidential election in the first round with 61.56% of the votes. This result was contested by the opposition and civil society, who claim a number of irregularities, particularly on 9 April.
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