Chad activists plan major anti-government march
Civil society activists in Chad are planning to hold a major anti-government march to protest anti-social measures, despite a ban by authorities against such demonstrations.
Activist and President of the Chadian Convention for Human Rights, Mahamat Nour Ibedou says they've held a press conference where they decided not to accept the systematic bans placed on their planned peaceful marches. Ibedou and three other opposition leaders were arrested in April last year for attempting an unarmed gathering ahead of the presidential election. They were each given a four-month suspended sentence.
"We held a press conference on Monday where we decided not to accept the systematic bans placed on our planned peaceful marches," Ibedou.
A coalition of civic groups is planning to "organise a public demonstration against the anti-social measures already taken by the government," he said, adding that a date had not yet been fixed. Ibedou described the government as having "double standards" when it came to public marches.
In late November, several hundred people were allowed to demonstrate against the US travel ban, after Chad was included on the list of countries whose citizens were indefinitely blocked from entering the US.
A few days later, however, police prevented protesters from holding a march to "denounce the dictatorial regime" of President Idriss Deby, who won another five-year term last year after 26 years of ruling the central African nation. "If authorities allow a protest in their favour, we too have the right to protest," Ibedou said.