FEBRUARY 9, 2004
Posted: March 3, 2004
Tchanguis Vatankhah, Radio Brakos
Vatankhah, director of the privately owned Radio Brakos, which is
based in the southern town of Moissala, was brutally assaulted by police
officers at the station's offices. The officers then arrested and detained
the journalist for 48 hours at the Moissala police station before releasing
him without charge. Vatankhah was also severely beaten during his detention.
According to local sources, Vatankhah's arrest was carried out on the
orders of local Prefect Bouba Dalissou, who also ordered the radio station
closed for three days following Vatankhah's arrest.
The arrest apparently stemmed from a recent interview the journalist had
conducted with an opposition politician from the l'Union Nationale pour
le Développement et le Renouveau (National Union for Development
and Renewal) party that was broadcast on Radio Brakos the week before.
Local sources told CPJ that Vatankhah had also recently criticized local
customs officials and an allegedly arbitrary arrest by police in Moissala.
Dalissou accused Radio Brakos of being an "opposition radio," sources
On February 20, Vatankhah traveled to the capital, N'Djamena, for medical
treatment. Journalists who met with him after his arrival told CPJ that
Vatankhah suffers from severe respiratory problems and eye injuries due
to physical assault.
Local journalists, including the Union of Private Radios in Chad, have
protested Vatankhah's assault and detention and have called on the Chadian
government to cover the cost of Vatankhah's medical care. Several government
ministers and the High Council on Communications, an official media regulatory
body, also criticized Dalissou's actions, saying the official has no jurisdiction
over the media.
JULY 6, 2004
Posted: July 19, 2004
Mbainaye Betoubam, Ialtchad Presse
Abdelkérim Nassour, Ialtchad Presse
Hassane Boukar, Ialtchad Presse
Betoubam, Nassour, and Boukar, local correspondents for the Canadian-based
monthly Ialtchad Presse, were arrested by members of the National
Security Agency (ANS) in the capital, N'djaména. This came shortly after
the first edition of the magazine was published, according to local journalists'
organizations. The Chad Association of Private Press Editors, the Union
of Private Radios in Chad, and the Chad Union of Journalists said the
three were not brought before the public prosecutor until July 13.
CPJ sources said the three were released on July 15 but were charged with
failing to take the necessary administrative steps to register the publication.
Ialtchad Presse said it had followed all the necessary administrative
A July 7 editorial on the Ialtchad Presse Web site said that since
the newspaper had been launched, its editorial teams in N'djaména and
in Montreal, Canada, had received "threats and intimidation" from Chadian
authorities, and that vendors of the newspaper had been harassed by security
forces, especially in northern districts of N'djaména.