On October 20, 2022, Narcisse Orédjé, a 31-year-old reporter with the privately owned Radio Cefod, was shot in Chad’s capital, N’Djaména, while he was filming protests demanding an end to the rule of transitional President Mahamat Déby outside of his home, according to media reports and his widow, Linda Orédjé, who spoke to CPJ by phone.
The editor-in-chief of Radio Cefod, Dieudonné Péchené, told CPJ in a phone call that the day prior Radio Cefod management instructed journalists not to go to the office or to assess the situation before going out.
Linda Orédjé said that the couple stood outside their home watching protesters throw stones and burn tires in the street when a neighbor suggested that they go inside because the demonstration was getting more violent. She said the protesters were clashing with members of the Chadian military.
According to Linda Orédjé, her husband told her to go back into the house while he remained outside filming the protests. She said that a few minutes later she heard noise and when she went out to see what was happening, she saw that her husband had returned to the house and was lying in its courtyard with a bullet wound to the chest. Linda Orédjé told CPJ that she did not know who fired at her husband as she was inside when he was shot.
According to Leubnoudji Tah Nathan, the president of the Network of Chadian Journalists and Reporters (RJRT), who spoke to CPJ by phone shortly after the journalist was killed and cited his conversations with eyewitnesses and Radio Cefod staff, Orédjé was shot outside his home by individuals wearing Chadian military uniforms.
CPJ sent written queries about Orédjé’s death to Chadian national army communications services via its Facebook page but did not receive a response.
Linda Orédjé told CPJ that a neighbor tried to take the journalist to the hospital on a motorcycle but he died on the way.
According to news reports and a statement by the International Federation for Human Rights and its partners in Chad, many people were killed after security forces violently repressed the protests, including by using live ammunition.
Péchené told CPJ that Orédjé joined the radio station in August 2022, and had previously worked as a producer and director for the privately owned audio visual agency Sai Production and the news website tchadinfos.com. He also contributed to Reuters, according to the agency’s own reporting on his death, and a CPJ search of its photo database. Péchené said that Orédjé enjoyed field reporting.
CPJ contacted communication minister and government spokesman Aziz Mahamat Saleh via his Facebook and Twitter accounts seeking comment about Orédjé’s death but did not receive a response.