Trade unionists, journalists and human rights defenders were intimidated and the criminal justice system was used to harass political opponents. People continued to be arbitrarily arrested and held in lengthy pre-trial detention. Many children were recruited as child soldiers. Prison conditions remained extremely harsh. Impunity for human rights violations and abuses continued.
Chad continued to host a large number of refugees and internally displaced persons. According to the UN, as of 31 December, there were 281,000 Sudanese refugees in 12 refugee camps in eastern Chad and 79,000 refugees from the Central African Republic in the south, in addition to 120,000 internally displaced people in various sites on the border with Darfur, Sudan.
Rebel leader Abdel Kader Baba Laddé of the Popular Front for Redress (Front populaire pour le redressement, FPR), who was based in northern Central African Republic, returned to Chad in September after negotiations between the FPR and the Chadian and Central African Republic governments. He was accused by human rights groups of recruiting child soldiers.Top of page
Cruel, inhuman or degrading punishments, including beatings, continued to be widely practised by security forces and prison guards, with almost total impunity.Top of page
Most prisoners were held in lengthy pre-trial detention. Several had spent years in detention without the authorities being aware of their presence. In March, a 17-year-old boy had spent more than 18 months in Doba prison without the knowledge of the local prosecutor.Top of page
People continued to be arrested and detained without charge. Detainees were routinely held in police cells as well as in secret detention facilities.Top of page
Conditions remained harsh, amounting to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. Cells were severely overcrowded, and food and drinking water were inadequate. There was no health care in prisons, including for serious transmissible diseases such as tuberculosis. Men, women and children were held together indiscriminately in the majority of prisons. No mechanisms were in place to allow prisoners to complain about their treatment.
No effective action was taken to bring to justice those suspected in the disappearance of opposition leader Ibni Oumar Mahamat Saleh. His whereabouts remained unknown more than four years after his arrest in February 2008. A 2009 report of a national commission of inquiry had confirmed that he was arrested from his home by eight members of the security forces.Top of page
Chadian officials continued to use the criminal justice system to harass political opponents and influence the judiciary.
The authorities continued to threaten media outlets and harass journalists.
Human rights defenders, including trade union leaders, were attacked and continued to be subjected to intimidation and harassment by government officials. In some instances, the judiciary was used to silence them.
There were persistent reports during the year that children were recruited by the Chadian National Army, including massive numbers in February-March. The recruitment and use of children by Chadian and Sudanese armed groups also continued. Information collected by various sources between February and April reported that many children in the departments of Assoungha and Kimiti in eastern Chad, including already demobilized children who had been reunited with their families, regularly travelled to Sudan where they served in armed groups.
Forced evictions continued to take place throughout the year, even in cases where there was a court injunction against eviction. No alternative housing or compensation were offered to victims, even those who had won compensation before a court.
On 22 August, an agreement was signed between Senegal and the African Union to establish a special court to try former President Hissène Habré. In September, Chadian authorities stated that they had confirmed their financial contribution of CFA 2 billion (around US$4 million) for the trial. In December, Senegal’s national assembly adopted a law creating a special tribunal to try Hissène Habré.Top of page
The authorities consistently failed to prevent and address sexual violence by both state and non-state agents.