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Juda Allahondoum, editor of the private weekly La Une based in the capital, N'Djamena, was convicted of criminal defamation on July 30, 2013, and sentenced to a suspended prison term of six months, Allahondoum and his lawyer told CPJ.

Three Chadian journalists jailed for several months in the capital, N'Djamena, while facing prosecution on defamation and anti-state charges, were handed suspended jail terms and then released, according to news reports and local journalists.

Your Excellency Idriss Deby Itno: We are writing to express our concern about the ongoing imprisonment of Chadian journalists on anti-state charges. We believe the arrests of these reporters, simply for writing articles critical of the administration, turn dissenting citizens into criminals and stifle legitimate debate on issues of public interest.

Two editors of the private trimonthly Abba Garde (The Sentinel) were harassed and attacked in N'Djamena, the capital, in December 2012, according to local journalists and news reports. Local journalists told CPJ they believed the attacks were in reprisal for the paper's critical coverage of the government.

Two journalists were detained for attempting to visit Gao, a town that Al-Qaeda-linked militants have seized. (AFP/Issouf Sanogo)

New York, December 5, 2012--Malian authorities should immediately return the passports and equipment seized from two international Al-Jazeera journalists who were detained for more than two days over the weekend for attempting to cross into militant-controlled territory, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

Armed agents from the National Security Agency in N'Djamena, the capital, beat two reporters on November 16, 2012, and detained them in handcuffs on the premises of a private hospital, according to local journalists.

Lagos, Nigeria, November 14, 2012--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Chadian authorities to investigate reports of official intimidation of journalists working for a private community radio station in the southern town of Doba.

Alnodji Mbairaba Jean-paul, the editor-in-chief of La Voix du Paysan, told CPJ that he and two other journalists had been intimidated and threatened by Lamlengar Ngasebey, the town's mayor, and members of his family. La Voix du Paysan had broadcast on September 20, 21, 28 a series of news reports in which local citizens accused Ngasebey of abuse of power, mismanagement, and hiring practices that favored attractive women, the journalists said.

On September 30, 2012, Yves Phono Kepmi, a journalist with Radio Terre Nouvelle, was beaten by police officers in Chad's southwestern Mayo-Kebbi Est region for asking questions about a civil disturbance he was reporting on, according to local journalists.

Lagos, Nigeria, October 5, 2012--Chadian authorities are abusing the judicial and law enforcement systems to silence news coverage critical of the government's performance, censoring publications and targeting one editor with an unjust criminal conviction. The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on the government to immediately halt its actions.

Chad’s vibrant press shook off chains of the state

The author (Courtesy Kaya-Whorr)

When Chad proclaimed independence on August 11, 1960, I was still attending primary school and had never heard of journalism. I listened only to music on the radio. But there was euphoria everywhere in Sarh, south of Chad where I lived, and we sang and danced to the frenzied rhythm of “independence tcha tcha tcha” by Congolese musician Joseph Kabassélé, aka Kallé. 

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