Amnesty calls for kin release in Chad

Amnesty International is raising serious concerns about the Chadian government’s handling of relatives of a slain opposition leader.

In a statement released Tuesday, the human rights organization called for the fair trial or immediate release of 26 individuals detained “incommunicado” for over three months.

These individuals are all relatives of Yaya Dillo, leader of the opposition Socialist Party Without Borders (PSF), who was killed during an army raid on the party headquarters in February 2024.

Dillo was considered the leading challenger to President Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno, who recently won a contested election after three years of military rule.

Amnesty International emphasizes the lack of due process for the detainees. None have been brought before a judge, and they are being held in the remote Koro Toro maximum-security prison, hundreds of kilometers from the capital.

“Chadian authorities must ensure the fair trial rights of these individuals,” said Samira Daoud, Amnesty’s regional director for West and Central Africa.

“Unless they are promptly charged with a recognizable offense and given a fair trial, they must be immediately released.”

The organization further highlights the alleged pattern of repression against opposition figures in Chad.

Hundreds have been arrested since the military takeover, and Amnesty renews calls for an independent investigation into Dillo’s death, which remains shrouded in secrecy.

This incident casts a shadow on the recent election and raises concerns about the human rights situation in Chad under President Deby’s leadership.

The international community is likely to pressure the government to address these concerns and ensure fair treatment for all citizens.

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