Following the repression of a protest planned on 9 October 2021 by the opposition and pro-democracy activists in Chad, Abdoulaye Diarra, Amnesty International Central Africa researcher said: “The crackdown on this weekend’s protest is the latest in a series of blatant restrictions on the rights to freedom of expression and freedom of peaceful association we have documented for years in Chad.
“When authorities’ attempts to ban the protest did not deter demonstrators, security forces took over the main streets in the capital N’Djamena and fired tear gas, injuring several people, and arresting dozens of demonstrators who have been released on the same day.
“On the morning of the protest, text messages and Internet networks were reportedly slowed down for hours in some areas of N’Djamena, confirming the link between disruptions in Internet access and moments of political contestation we have been observing over the past five years in the country.
“Since the beginning of the political transition, several demonstrations were banned and suppressed by the authorities. Between 27 April and 19 May 2021, at least 16 people were killed during protests in N’Djamena and the southern town of Moundou. The investigations’ outcomes are still awaited.
“Authorities in Chad must end this campaign of intimidation against critical voices, respect and protect the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly. The apparent restrictions on Internet connectivity which took place around the protest must be investigated, and people in Chad must be allowed to freely access and exchange information online.”