In Chad, police beat journalist for asking questions

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.

Kepmi told CPJ he had gone to the police station at Bongor, some 155 miles (250 kilometers) southwest of the capital N’Djamena, to confirm the arrest of a man who had stabbed another man in the neck during a brawl. On the orders of two superior officers, three police officers beat him with belts and whips on his back, head, and ears, Kepmi said. He was handcuffed and detained overnight despite identifying himself as a journalist, he said.

“After I asked them my question, they began to beat me, saying I don’t have the right to ask them any questions,” Kepmi said.

In a statement, Chad’s Union of Private Radio Stations condemned the attack and called on the government and the High Communications Council, Chad’s state-run press regulatory body, to intervene and ensure the protection of journalists in the discharge of their duties.