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UN Condemns Deadly Force by Chadian Security Against Protesters

Mourners take part in a funeral ceremony for eighteen year-old Synna Garandi, in N'Djamena, May 1, 2021, after his death during a protest April 27 in the Chadian capital.

The U.N. human rights office condemns the deadly use of force by Chad’s security forces against peaceful protesters demanding a return to civilian rule.

Nationwide demonstrations throughout the past week have been met with a fierce response by Chad’s defense and security forces, who reportedly killed six people on Tuesday and wounded several others.

The U.N. human rights office expresses grave concern at what it calls excessive, disproportionate use of force, including the use of live ammunition against protesters.

In addition, U.N. human rights spokeswoman Marta Hurtado says 700 people reportedly have been arrested. She says those actions are in violation of international law, which obligates countries to protect and respect human rights, including the right of freedom of peaceful assembly.

“The decree imposing a blanket ban on demonstrations without prior authorization may undermine the exercise of the right to peaceful assembly. We also note that the Transitional Military Council itself declared on 20 April that it would abide by Chad’s international treaty obligations,” Hurtado said.

Chad’s president, Idriss Deby, was killed by rebels April 20. Chad’s military appointed a transitional military council headed by Deby’s son, Mahamat Idriss Deby, until new elections were to be held in 18 months.

Hurtado said that decree has elicited an outcry of protest from Chad’s political opposition, triggering mass demonstrations against continued military rule.

“The people on the street are demanding that the country comes back to the constitutional order and civilian rule.…They want the authorities to hear their demand,” Hurtado said.

The U.N. human rights office is calling on state authorities to conduct impartial, effective and transparent investigations into human rights violations that may have occurred, including the use of excessive force against protesters.