Chad: Authorities must investigate raid and killings at presidential contender’s house

Responding to a raid by Chadian security forces on the house of opposition presidential candidate Yaya Dillo and the subsequent killing of at least two members of his family, Abdoulaye Diarra, Amnesty International’s Central Africa researcher, said:

“Authorities in Chad must urgently launch an independent, impartial and effective investigation into the use of fatal force during a raid on opposition presidential contender Yaya Dillo’s house and the killing of his family members.

“Yaya Dillo has stated that his mother, his son and three of his supporters were killed during a raid by security forces. According to the government, the police attempted to serve two judicial warrants and responded to gunfire coming from Dillo’s house, and that two people were killed and five injured, including three members of the security forces.

These killings highlight the high tension in Chad ahead of next month’s election characterized by human rights violations with bans on demonstrations and arbitrary arrests already in place.
Abdoulaye Diarra, Amnesty International Central Africa researcher

“These killings highlight the high tension in Chad ahead of next month’s election characterized by human rights violations with bans on demonstrations and arbitrary arrests already in place. There are also reports of an internet shut down, in what is an unjustified attack on media freedom and freedom of expression.

“Against such a volatile backdrop and fearing wider violence, we call on the Chadian authorities to set up an independent and effective investigation of the police use of fatal force to establish the facts and to ensure that anyone criminally responsible is held to account through a fair trial. The authorities must also reverse the rapidly shrinking political and civic space in Chad by ensuring the right to freedom of expression and assembly, and by keeping the internet running.”

Background

Yaya Dillo, an opposition candidate in Chad’s 11 April presidential election, said his house was raided by security forces and the army on Sunday, and that his mother, his son and three of his relatives were killed in the attack.

In a statement, the government spokesperson and Minister of Communication said the raid followed “the systematic refusal for 48 hours by Mr. Yaya Dillo, supported by a group of armed people, to respond to two judicial warrants, challenging the authority of the state by opposing armed resistance”.

The Minister of Communication said defense and security forces attempting to execute these warrants were shot at from Dillo’s house and had no other choice but to act in self-defense to protect themselves. He said two people were killed and five injured, including three members of the security forces.