(Mar. 2, 2008) Rupert Colville, a spokesperson for the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, has expressed concern about the human rights situation in Chad. Opposition leaders and members of civil society organizations have been reported abducted and detained in the period since the uprising in the N'Djamena, Chad's capital city. On February 15, 2008, the government issued a presidential decree declaring a state of emergency. The decree authorized house searches, controls on the news media, limits on movements of people and vehicles, and a ban on most meetings.
Colville stressed the importance of respecting human rights during the emergency period, which he hoped would be short, stating:
- While appreciating that the Chadian Government has faced a major crisis, the Office has called for fundamental human rights and freedoms to be respected during the state of emergency. … We remain concerned about reports of killings of large numbers of civilians during the fighting and call upon the Government of Chad to fully investigate these allegations and hold those responsible to account.
(Reports of Political Detentions in Chad Alarm UN Human Rights Agency, UN NEWS, Feb. 22, 2008, from [email protected].)