Tell Chad to free Baradine Berdei Targuio held incommunicado
On 24 January 2020, Baradine Berdei Targuio, president of the Chadian Human Rights Organization (OTDH), was arrested in front of his wife and children at his home in N’Djamena by masked and armed individuals. Amnesty International has got the information that he is being kept at the National Security Agency (ANS) but his family has not seen him since.
The Minister of Justice has declared in February that Baradine’s arrest was legal and under the supervision of a Prosecutor for “subversive activities on social media”, nevertheless Baradine is yet to be presented to a judge and formally charged.
Given several previous cases of people being tortured and ill-treated at the ANS, we believe Baradine Berdei Targuio could also be at risk.
Baradine Berdei Targuio is the President of the Chadian Human Rights Organization, created in 2006. He is known to have addressed an open letter to President Deby about the human rights situation in the northern region of Tibesti, Chad, in the context of the state of emergency in November 2018.
On 22 January 2020, two days before his arrest he posted on Facebook about the health of the President saying that he “might be seriously ill and hospitalized in France”.
On 24 January, he's arrested and nobody from his family has since been able to have access to him. According to several sources, he's being held incommunicado by the ANS.
The broad powers and mandate provided to the ANS have allowed it to repress government critics such as Mahadine Tadjadine Babouri, Nadjo Kaina, and Bertrand Solloh.
Although a decree adopted in 2017 gives the ANS powers to “arrest and detain suspects for purposes of investigation, where they represent a real or potential threat, in accordance with the laws of the Republic”, Chad’s Criminal Procedure Code provides that defendants should be brought before a court within 48 hours – renewable only once – or else released.
Mr. Baradine has been arbitrarily detained for more than 6 months with no access to a lawyer or a member of his family. He should be immediately and unconditionally released
Please join our members and supporters in demanding that the Chadian authorities immediately release Baradine Berdei Targuio and return him to his family.
Send an email to the Minister of Justice of Chad, Djimet Arabi, to ensure that the law is respected in the case of Baradine.