[JURIST] The government of Chad [JURIST news archive] is using the current state of emergency [JURIST report] to clamp down on journalists and members of peaceful opposition parties, Amnesty International [advocacy website] said Wednesday. Amnesty said that the government has arrested at least three opposition members [press release] and that some newspapers in Chad have ceased publishing due to potential censorship, with many journalists fleeing the country. AP has more.
Chadian President Idriss Deby [official website, in French; BBC profile] last week declared a state of emergency [text, in French] throughout Chad, citing increased violence between government forces and rebels in the capital city of N'Djamena. The order bans most public meetings, imposes a curfew, authorizes government censorship of the press, and allows regional governments to regulate travel. The recent fighting in Chad is the most recent eruption of longstanding hostilities between the Chadian government and several rebel groups seeking to depose Deby. An estimated 20,000 civilians have fled the capital [NYT report] since violence escalated earlier this month. The UN Security Council has condemned the fighting [press release; JURIST report] and urged neighboring countries to help stop the rebel forces.