Newspaper editor Samory Ngaradoumbé was released pending trial on a charge of “inciting a revolt” after appearing before the public prosecutor 16 October.
Ngaradoumbé agreed that the prefect of the northern town of Bardai and the army general staff would be given the right to reply to the incriminated article in the next issue of his paper. His trial is due to start on 29 October.
14.10.2013 - Journalist detained
Reporters Without Borders is very concerned about the arrest on 14 October of Samory Ngaradoumbé, the editor of the weekly L’Observateur, over a report about the armed forces.
Ngaradoumbé is being held for publishing an article reporting disturbances in the military garrison in the far north town on Bardai, near the border with Libya, and for comparing it to last month’s unrest in the Chadian army camps at Amachach, near Tessalit, inside Mali.
“We strongly condemn this arrest of a journalist,” Reporters Without Borders said. “Arrest and detention in police custody are completely disproportionate and unnecessary in cases involving the media. We call for Ngaradoumbé’s immediate release. There are no grounds for holding him.”
Ngaradoumbé was already questioned last weekend by security police, who wanted to know his sources for the report. According to the government, there has been no unrest in the Bardai garrison and the article was intended to disturb public order.
It is not yet known which government institution filed a complaint against Ngaradoumbé, who could be brought before the prosecutor’s office tomorrow.
Ngaradoumbé was sentenced to three months in prison and a heavy fine in July 2005 for writing an open letter to President Idriss Deby criticizing the arrest of members of the Kreda community.
Three journalists were already given jail sentences and heavy fines in August in Chad, which is ranked 121st out of 179 countries in the 2013 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.