security service agents took Innocent Ebodé, who arrived in N’djamena in June
to become editor-in-chief of the fledgling weekly La Voix du Tchad, to the border town of
Cameroonian citizens are required to have residency permits in
Ebodé, who left his wife and two children behind in N’djamena, was deported a day after writing a critical column analyzing the merit of Deby and other African leaders as Nobel Prize contenders. Ebode likened a race between 2009 Nobel Prize winner Barack Obama and Deby as a sprint between Olympic world-record-holder Usain Bolt and a one-legged runner. The story countered Environment Minister Ali Souleymane Dabye’s suggestion during a recent press conference that Deby deserved the prize for his environmental work, according to local journalists.
Shortly after this week’s edition of La Voix du Tchad went on sale, Ebodé was summoned by the state-run national media regulatory agency, the High Council on Communication, and asked to present administrative documentation for the newspaper according to defense lawyer Padaré.
“It can’t be a coincidence that a
day after the publication of an op-ed critical of the president, Innocent Ebodé should be found to be in
violation of immigration violations,” said CPJ Africa Program