Amnesty International demands fair trail for detained relatives of Chad opposition leader News
Bagassi Koura (VOA), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Amnesty International demands fair trail for detained relatives of Chad opposition leader

Chad authorities must guarantee fair trial rights for the detained relatives of opposition leader Yaya Dillo Djerou, killed during an assault on the headquarters of the Socialist Party without Borders headquarters in February, Amnesty International urged on Tuesday. The 26 relatives have been detained incommunicado since the military assault which led to their arrest. Chad authorities are yet to offer closure around the circumstances of Djerou’s assassination, and judicial authorities remain silent on the future of the detainees.

According to Amnesty International, the relatives, among them several chronically ill and three children, are being detained in the maximum-security prison Koro Toro. They are being detained without explanation and, according to an anonymous family member, without access to medical care and legal representation. Samira Daoud, Amnesty International Regional Director for West and Central Africa, said, “All those detained must be immediately released unless they are promptly charged with an internationally recognizable offence and tried in proceedings that adhere to international fair trial standards”.

Amnesty International warned of an unsettling pattern of incommunicado detention against opposition supporters in Chad. Protests against the transitional military government are swiftly met with enforcement action. Back in October 2022, demonstrations to denounce the extension of the transition period resulted in 128 deaths at the hands of enforcement officials, while hundreds were detained for a month without fair trial or due process rights. In the end, the possibility of prosecution was removed by amnesty law.

Daoud called on Chadian authorities to meet their legal obligations by “presenting detainees to a judge, allowing them to designate counsel of their choosing, and detaining them in a place close to their families”.