Tell Chad to free Baradine Berdei Targuio
On 24 January 2020, Baradine Berdei Targuio, president of the Chadian Human Rights Organization (OTDH in French), was arrested in front of his wife and children at his home in N’Djamena by masked and armed individuals. Although Amnesty International was informed that he was being kept at the National Security Agency (ANS) his family was not able to see him.
The Minister of Justice declared in February that Baradine’s arrest was legal and under the supervision of a Prosecutor for “subversive activities on social media”.
It wasn’t until 21 August that he was eventually presented to a prosecutor and an investigative judge who charged him with a breach of national security, illegal possession of weapons, assault, and battery.
Amnesty International is concerned that Baradine Berdei Targuio is being detained and prosecuted in connection with his work as a human rights defender.
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 was arrested and nobody from his family was able to have access to him. According to several sources, he was being held incommunicado by the ANS. After almost seven months in arbitrary and incommunicado detention, Mr. Baradine was presented to a prosecutor on 21 August.
On 24 August an investigative judge charged him with breach of national security, illegal possession of weapons, assault, and battery. Amnesty International is concerned that the charges brought against Baradine are bogus and in connection with his work as a human rights defender. We note that they relate to actions that allegedly took place during his arrest in January, yet have not been brought by the authorities until August – despite other allegations being made in the interim concerning online expression, there has never before been an allegation of violent conduct.