Freedom of speech
D+C author detained in Chad
The first paragraphs of Amnesty International’s report on the matter read as follows:
“Djeralar Miankeol was arrested on 15 June in Moundou, Chad, on orders by the public prosecutor of the Logone Occidental Region after a radio interview on 7 June in which he questioned the competence of judicial officials. He was charged the next day with ‘contempt of court’.
“Djeralar Miankeol, activist and Director of Association Ngaoubourandi (ASNGA), received a call from the public prosecutor of Moundou, Hassane Yacoub, who asked him to present himself at his office to answer a few questions on 15 June. Djeralar Miankeol and his wife went to the public prosecutor’s office at 3.30pm the same day he got the call."
“During the questioning, the public prosecutor and his deputy asked Djeralar Miankeol questions related to a radio interview he gave on 7 June on radio FM Liberté. After 15 minutes of questioning, the public prosecutor called in a gendarme who arrested Djeralar Miankeol and took him to the ‘Brigade de Recherche’ of Moundou. A judge of the Tribunal of Moundou charged Djeralar Miankeol with ‘contempt of court’ the next day and had him transferred to the prison of Moundou. This is a clear attempt to punish an activist for peacefully expressing his views and to deter others from doing the same. Amnesty International considers him a prisoner of conscience.
“When Amnesty International contacted the public prosecutor on 19 June, he refused to provide any further information on the case and stated that ‘the case had been submitted to the High Court of Justice which will decide’. He however told Amnesty International that a hearing was scheduled for 30 June. On 22 June, Djeralar’s family communicated to Amnesty International that no hearing date had been communicated to them. There are fears this will not happen any time soon. According to information received from Djeralar Miankeol, the hearing may be scheduled only after investigations are complete in Moundou and in N’Djamena, and after the soundtrack of Djeralar Miankeol’s radio interview has been analysed.”
Amnesty is running an urgent-action campaign, asking people from around the world to get in touch with the authorities in Chad to demand Miankeol’s freedom.
Miankeol recently wrote an essay on conflicts between herders and farmers in Chad.