Chadian authorities must immediately and unconditionally release and drop all charges against a human rights defender sentenced to two-year imprisonment for peacefully expressing his views on the country’s judicial system, Amnesty International said today.
Djeralar Minkeol is a Chadian activist and Director of Association Ngaoubourandi (ASNGA), an organization that focuses on opposing land-grabbing, and oil production issues. He was sentenced yesterday after having been arrested without a warrant last month following a radio interview during which he condemned the corrupt practices of some judicial officers. He was charged with “insulting the judiciary” (outrage a magistrate) and the public prosecutor who ordered his arrest was one of the plaintiffs in the trial.
“Djeralar Minkeol is a prisoner of conscience who must be immediately and unconditionally released with all charges against him dropped. This move to silence government critics shows how freedom of expression is still being severely and unduly restricted in Chad,” said Steve Cockburn, Amnesty International deputy regional director for West and Central Africa.