Ten suffocate in detention in Chad

Forty-seven villagers were arrested by police in connection with the death of a village chief who had been implicated in child abduction cases.

The association Droits de l'Homme Sans Frontières – DHSF (Human Rights Without Borders), based in N'Djamena, released a press statement on 3 October 2011, denouncing the death of ten of the arrested villagers, nine of whom died on the day of arrest, allegedly as a result of suffocation due to poor detention conditions, while a tenth detainee died the following day, 18 September, after being transferred to N'Djamena.

Following the press release DHSF President Deuzoumbe Daniel Passalet gave an interview to Radio Liberty to denounce the death of the ten detainees, as well as the child abductions and the fact that the traditional chief of Lere fails to take action in cases in which village chiefs are implicated. Passalet also denounced the fact that the traditional chief had reportedly asked the family members of the dead detainees and of the others still in detention to give seven cows as “blood money” for the people that they are suspected to have killed.

Frontline Defenders further reports that a government Minister, who is the son in law of the traditional chief of Lere, subsequently denounced the attack on chiefs and contacted people close to DHSF and threatened to have Passalet arrested.

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