Eleven perpetrators of a "coup" that the authorities claimed to have foiled in December in Chad have been sentenced to 20 years in prison, the public prosecutor of the N. 'Djamena, and will be pardoned, according to the presidency.
In early January, the government announced the arrest of ten officers and a human rights activist, Baradine Berdei Targuio, presented as the mastermind of an "attempt to destabilize" the "constitutional order" and " institutions of the Republic".
Mr. Berdei Targuio, president of the Chadian Human Rights Organization (OTDH), is a well-known human rights defender and a virulent critic of the Déby father and son regimes.
The 11 men, who were detained in the Koro Toro high-security prison, 600 km north of the capital, were sentenced to 20 years in prison, said Mahamat El-Hadj Abba Nana, the court's attorney general. of appeal from N'Djamena.
They were convicted of undermining the constitutional order, illegal possession of weapons and criminal association, national television said.
On April 21, the President of Chad, General Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno, promised the release of at least 12 men, including 11 army officers, accused of having attempted a "coup" in December 2022.
"The president will keep his promise," assured AFP Brah Mahamat, the spokesperson for the Chadian presidency, specifying that the sentence must be pronounced before the presidential pardon.
Mahamat Déby had been proclaimed transitional president two years ago by the army, at the head of a junta of 15 generals, on the announcement of the death of his father, Idriss Déby Itno, killed at the front against rebels after ruling Chad with an iron fist for 30 years.
Despite a promise to return power to civilians through elections after 18 months, he was reappointed in October 2022 - following a national reconciliation forum boycotted by the opposition and the main rebel movements - for a new two-year transition period.
At the end of March, Mahamat Déby had already pardoned 259 young people sentenced to prison for having, according to the authorities, participated on October 20, 2022, the date of the end of the first transition period, in a demonstration in N'Djamena against his continuation. in power.
This demonstration had been bloodily repressed by the security forces and had killed 73 people according to the government, and many more according to NGOs.