Security agents assault journalists in Chad

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.

Moussa Nguedmbaye and Boulga David, both reporters for the private radio station Dja FM, had gone to the L’Hopital de l’Amitié Tchad-Chine to verify reports that the hospital had employed unqualified doctors in the wake of crippling strikes waged by labor unions demanding that the government respect a 2011 salary agreement promise, according to Zara Mahamat Yacoub, director of Dja FM.

The security agents kicked and punched the journalists, confiscated their equipment, and detained them in a police vehicle in the hospital, Yacoub said. The reporters sustained no severe injuries from the attack, she said. Yacoub also said that police threatened to beat her and another Dja FM colleague as they filmed Nguedmbaye and David in custody.

Nguedmbaye and David were released after two hours and their equipment returned. Yacoub said the journalists would be filing an official complaint.

Abdoulaye Georges Moyalta, Chad’s Inspector General of Police, told CPJ that the journalists had been “subdued,” not assaulted. He also said they had neglected to get permission from the hospital to cover the story.