Document - Chad: Writer arrested, detained incommunicado: Jean Laokolé

URGENT ACTION

UA: 73/13 Index: AFR 20/001/2013 Chad Date: 25 March 2013

URGENT ACTION WRITER ARRESTED, DETAINED INCOMMUNICADO Writer Jean Laokolé, a humanitarian worker, was arrested on 22 March by the security services in the Chadian capital, N’Djamena. His whereabouts are unknown. Jean Laokolé was arrested in the evening of 22 March by a group of men in civilian clothes while he was with his family in his car in the Atrone suburb of N’Djamena. The men forced him into their vehicle and drove to an unknown location.

Although his whereabouts are not officially known, he was seen on 25 March in a former military camp in N'djamena known as “Camp OCAM”, behind Sacré-Coeur School. Some members of the Chadian security forces are using this place to detain people, though it is not an official detention centre.

According to various sources, including his family, the police summoned Jean Laokolé on 22 March in connection with an article posted on a blog. He is suspected of having written “false accusations” against a group of people who might have lodged a complaint against him with the police. He presented himself to the police officer who later apparently advised both parties to settle the matter in a peaceful manner. They have agreed that Jean Laokolé should write an apology on the same blog and also send a letter of apology to people who could have been offended by his post. He was planning to do so on 23 March.

Please write immediately in French, Arabic, English or your own language: ν Urge the authorities to disclose the whereabouts of Jean Laokolé, who has been arrested and detained incommunicado; ν Urge them to release Jean Laokolé immediately and unconditionally unless he is to be charged with a recognizably criminal offence; ν Urge them to protect him from torture and other ill-treatment; ν Urge them to respect and uphold the right to freedom expression in Chad and protect people against any threats and intimidation based on the peaceful exercise of their human rights.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 6 MAY 2013 TO: President of the Republic Monsieur Idriss Deby Président de la République Présidence de la République BP 74, N’Djamena Email: http://www.presidencetchad.org/nous_ec rire.php

Salutation: Dear President Deby Minister of Human Rights Amina Kodjiyana Ministre des Droits de l’Homme Ministère des Droits de l’Homme BP 169, N’Djamena Email: droittchad@yahoo.fr Salutation: Dear Minister

Minister of Justice Monsieur Abdoulaye Sabre Fadoul Ministre de la Justice, Ministère de la Justice BP 426, N’Djamena Salutation: Dear Minister

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country.

Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.

URGENT ACTION

WRITER ARRESTED, DETAINED INCOMMUNICADO

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION Writer and humanitarian worker Jean Laokolé is son to Jean-Baptise Laokolé, political opposition leader and vice chairperson of a coalition of opposition political parties, to which Ibni Oumar was the president. Ibni Oumar was arrested on 3 February 2008 at his home in the Chadian capital N’Djamena by members of the security services following a failed attack on the city by armed opposition groups. He has not been seen since.

Jean Laokolé’s mother is Salek Kebzabo’s sister. Kebzabo is the leader of the opposition in the Chadian parliament and President of the political party National Union for Democracy and Renewal (UNDR).

Impunity for arbitrary arrests and detentions without charge are common in Chad where people are routinely held in police cells as well as in secret detention facilities. Cases of enforced disappearance are also regular. The whereabouts of people who disappeared including army officers and civilians in April 2006 in N’Djamena and in November 2007 in the Dar Tama region (North-eastern Chad) and in N’Djamena in February 2008 after their arrest by security forces remain unknown despite repeated requests from their family members and human rights organizations.

Name: Jean Laokolé Gender m/f: m

UA: 73/13 Index: AFR 20/001/2013 Issue Date: 25 March 2013

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