Document - Chad: Government must investigate the enforced disappearance of Ibni Oumar Mahamat Saleh
Index: AFR 20/003/2012
3 February 2012
Chad: Government must investigate the enforced disappearance of Ibni Oumar Mahamat Saleh
Amnesty International is concerned that four years after the enforced disappearance of Ibni Oumar Mahamat Saleh, chairman of a coalition of Chadian opposition political parties and leader of the Party for Freedom and Development, the Chadian authorities have failed to disclose his fate and whereabouts and bring those responsible for his enforced disappearance to justice.
Ibni Oumar Mahamat Saleh was arrested on 3 February 2008 at his home in the Chadian capital N’Djamena by members of the Chadian security services after an attack of a coalition of armed opposition groups on N’Djamena had failed. The government regained control of the city and the attackers retreated across the border into Darfur, Sudan. Two other prominent opposition leaders, Lol Mahamat Choua and Ngarlejy Yorongar were arrested the same day and in similar circumstances. Lol Mahamat Choua was later released by the Chadian authorities on 28 February 2008 while Yorongar Ngarlejy resurfaced in Cameroun on 21 February 2008. Other serious human rights abuses including unlawful killings, rape, torture, arbitrary arrest and illegal detention were committed by both the Chadian security forces and armed opposition groups.
Following national and international pressure the Chadian government established on 28 February 2008 a National Commission of Inquiry to investigate the human rights violations and abuses that took place between 28 January and 8 February 2008, including the fate of Ibni Oumar Mahamat Saleh. The Commission’s report, released in July 2008, confirmed that he was arrested from his home on 3 February at around 19:30 by eight members of the Chadian security forces but the Commission was unable to ascertain what exactly happened to him. The report formulated 13 Recommendations to the government of Chad and requested that the government discloses Ibni Oumar’s fate. The Commission also recommended that those responsible of human rights violations and abuses - that took place during that period - are investigated and brought to justice.
On 23 May 2011, the Chadian president passed a Decree establishing a follow-up committee on the Recommendations included in the Commission of Inquiry’s report, allowing the presence of international experts to assist with the work of the follow-up committee. But little has been done since by the Chadian government in order to ensure that impunity does not prevail in this case.
Amnesty International has requested on numerous occasions that the Chadian authorities disclose the fate and whereabouts of Ibni Oumar Mahamat Saleh and allow his family members to know the truth.
Enforced disappearance is a crime under international law and is prohibited by a range of treaties including the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, which Chad ratified on 1 November 2006, and the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, signed by Chad on 6 February 2007.
This dehumanizing practice which has long-lasting and damaging consequences for both the disappeared person and his or her family is persistent in Chad and must cease. The Chadian government must disclose the fate and whereabouts of Ibni Oumar Mahamat Saleh and initiate an independent and impartial investigation into his enforced disappearance and of other people who disappeared in N’Djamena in April 2006 and in the Dar Tama region in November 2007, and bring those responsible to justice.
International Secretariat, Amnesty International, 1 Easton St., London WC1X 0DW, UK