UN human rights office ‘deeply regrets’ resumption of executions in Chad

Cécile Pouilly, spokesperson for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Photo: OHCHR

Cécile Pouilly, spokesperson for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Photo: OHCHR

Chad, 1 September 2015 – Following the first executions in Chad since 2003, the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) today deeply regretted the resumption of the death penalty in that country and called for an official moratorium on its use.

OHCHR Spokesperson Cécile Pouilly called Saturday’s execution by firing squad of 10 people sentenced to death the day before “an extremely unfortunate development,” particularly given the Government of Chad’s abolition of the death penalty in 2014. The penalty was reinstated in an anti-terrorism law unanimously approved by Chad’s parliament on 30 July.

According to media reports, the men who were executed were believed to be Boko Haram militants, and were accused of involvement in deadly terrorist attacks in Chad’s capital N’Djamena in June and July.

OHCHR called upon the Chadian authorities to review the law, which contains a vague definition of terrorism that could be misapplied. The speed with which the executions were carried out was also a concern.

“Any trial that could lead to the imposition of the death penalty must rigorously comply with all aspects of a fair trial,” said Ms. Pouilly.