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Torture by Police, Forced Disappearance

& Other Ill Treatment

In the early years of the 21st Century, 2000 to 2025                                            

Republic of Chad

Civilian leaders do not maintain control of the security forces, who stand accused of killing and torturing with impunity. The militant group Boko Haram operates near Lake Chad, and in 2017 it continued to carry out abductions and killings of civilians, and burned dozens of homes, leading to increased internal displacement.

Figures vary, but some reports claim the number of internationally displaced persons (IDPs) in Chad from the Lake Chad region alone may be as high as 120,000. Prison conditions are severe.

[Freedom House Country Report, 2018]


Description: Description: Description: Chad

CAUTION:  The following links have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Chad.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspects of Torture by Authorities are of particular interest to you.  You might be interested in exploring the moral justification for inflicting pain or inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment in order to obtain critical information that may save countless lives, or to elicit a confession for a criminal act, or to punish someone to teach him a lesson outside of the courtroom.  Perhaps your paper might focus on some of the methods of torture, like fear, extreme temperatures, starvation, thirst, sleep deprivation, suffocation, or immersion in freezing water.  On the other hand, you might choose to write about the people acting in an official capacity who perpetrate such cruelty.  There is a lot to the subject of Torture by Authorities.  Scan other countries as well as this one.  Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions.  Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.

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2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Chad

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, 30 March 2021

[accessed 7 July 2021]


Although the constitution prohibits such practices, there was anecdotal evidence the government continued to employ them.

In response to the March Boko Haram attack that killed 92 soldiers, the government launched the Wrath of Boma military operation. Two reputable nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) investigated and reported alleged abuses by security forces during the operation.


Local NGOs reported potable water, sanitation, and health care were inadequate. Provisions for heating, ventilation, and lighting were inadequate or nonexistent. Inmates were vulnerable to diseases such as HIV, tuberculosis, COVID-19, and malaria. The law stipulates a doctor must visit each prison three times a week, but authorities did not comply.


According to a Ministry of Justice official, authorities sometimes held pretrial detainees without charge for years, particularly for felonies allegedly committed in the provinces, because the court system only had the capacity to try criminal cases in the capital. The length of detention sometimes equaled or exceeded the possible sentence for the alleged crime. Lengthy pretrial detention was exacerbated by an overworked judiciary susceptible to corruption.

Freedom House Country Report

2018 Edition

[accessed 11 May 2020]


Civilian leaders do not maintain control of the security forces, who stand accused of killing and torturing with impunity. The militant group Boko Haram operates near Lake Chad, and in 2017 it continued to carry out abductions and killings of civilians, and burned dozens of homes, leading to increased internal displacement. Figures vary, but some reports claim the number of internationally displaced persons (IDPs) in Chad from the Lake Chad region alone may be as high as 120,000. Prison conditions are severe.

Conviction of Hissene Habre for War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity, and Torture

John Kerry, U.S. Secretary of State, Washington DC, 30 May 2016

[accessed 8 August 2016]

[accessed 21 July 2017]

Habre’s crimes were numerous, calculated, and grave. Beginning in 1982, his eight-year term as the president of Chad was marked by large-scale, systematic violations, including those involving murder of an estimated 40,000 people, widespread sexual violence, mass imprisonment, enforced disappearance, and torture. Without the persistence of his accusers and their demand for justice, Habre might never have faced a court of law.

Former Chad dictator to face trial in Senegal on war crimes, torture charges

The Associated Press AP, Dakar Senegal, 14 February 2015

[accessed 30 March 2015]

A court in Senegal has decided to put former Chad dictator Hissene Habre on trial for charges of crimes against humanity, war crimes and torture.

The Extraordinary African Chambers made the announcement Friday evening in response to the findings of a 19-month investigation into alleged crimes committed during Habre's presidency, which lasted from 1982 to 1990

The trial would be the first in Africa to rely on "universal jurisdiction," in which countries prosecute serious crimes committed abroad.

Torture Detailed at Trial

Human Rights Watch, 16 January 2015

[accessed 26 March 2015]

Dramatic evidence presented at the trial in Chad of 21 former security agents confirms that torture was systematic during the Hissène Habré dictatorship, from 1982 to 1990, Human Rights Watch said today.   Since the trial began on November 14, 2014, about 50 victims have described their torture and mistreatment at the hands of agents of the Directorate of Documentation and Security Directorate (DDS), Habré’s political police.

Josué Doumasen, among many others, described being subjected to the “arbatachar,” a frequently used torture method that involved tying all four of a prisoner's limbs behind their back to interrupt the bloodstream and quickly induce paralysis. Several women alluded to their rape in detention.

Ginette Ngarbaye, arrested when she was pregnant and tortured with electric shocks, gave birth to her first child in prison. Clement Abaifouta, the president of the victims’ association, described how he was forced to bury the bodies of deceased detainees in mass graves.

Conclusions and recommendations of the Committee against Torture

U.N. Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment  -- Doc. CAT/C/TCD/CO/1 (2009)

[accessed 24 February 2013]

14. The Committee notes with concern that Chadian criminal law does not currently contain any provisions guaranteeing the absolute and non-derogable nature of the prohibition of torture, and that numerous abuses, including cases of torture and enforced disappearance recognized by the State party, are committed during states of emergency (art. 2).

The State party should ensure that the principle of the absolute prohibition of torture is incorporated in its criminal legislation. The State party should also ensure the strict application of such legislation, in accordance with article 2, paragraph 2, of the Convention, which stipulates that no exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.

Due obedience

15. The Committee notes with concern that article 143 of the Chadian Criminal Code, which establishes that any person who acts on the orders of a hierarchical superior shall be exempt from punishment, is not in conformity with the obligations stemming from article 2, paragraph 3, of the Convention (art. 2).

The State party should amend its legislation to explicitly state that an order from a superior officer or public authority may not be invoked as justification of torture.

17. The Committee is deeply concerned about:

(a) Persistent and consistent reports of torture and ill-treatment allegedly carried out by the State party’s security forces and services, especially in district police stations, gendarmeries and remand centres, and the apparent impunity enjoyed by the perpetrators of such acts;

(b) Allegations that the newly formed environmental protection brigades and the brigade responsible for searching for weapons indulge in acts that contravene the Convention;

(c) The conclusions of the commission of inquiry into the events of February 2008, and conclusions drawn from other sources, which report summary and extrajudicial executions, rapes, kidnappings followed by enforced disappearance, torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, arbitrary arrests, intimidation and harassment of political opponents, human rights defenders and civilians. The Committee is particularly concerned about the fate of Mr. Ibni Oumar Mahamat Saleh, a political opponent and former minister who was arrested on 3 February 2008 and who has since disappeared;

(d) Reports that torture and ill-treatment are commonly used on prisoners of war and political opponents (arts. 2 and 12).

The State party should:

(a) Take immediate steps to guarantee in practice that all allegations of torture and ill-treatment are the subject of a thorough, prompt and impartial investigation and that the perpetrators of such acts are brought to trial and, if found guilty, sentenced to penalties proportional to the seriousness of the acts committed;

(b) Investigate the involvement of government agents, members of the armed forces and government security forces and allies of the Government in acts of torture, rape, enforced disappearance and other abuses committed during the events of February 2008;

(c) Investigate the activities of the environmental protection brigade and the brigade responsible for searching for weapons and ensure effective control over their future actions;

(d) Implement, as soon as possible, the recommendations of the commission of inquiry into the events of February 2008;

(e) Offer full reparation, including fair and adequate compensation for the victims of such acts, and provide them with medical, psychological and social rehabilitation.

Secret detention centres

18. The Committee notes that secret places of detention are prohibited, but nevertheless expresses concern about the conclusions in the report of the commission of inquiry into the events of February 2008, which reveal the existence of secret places of detention run by State agents (arts. 2 and 11).

The State party should identify and order the closure of all illegal places of detention, order the immediate handover of anyone still detained in such places to the judicial authorities, and ensure that they enjoy all the fundamental guarantees for the prevention of and their protection from any act of torture and ill-treatment.

The Case Against Hissène Habré, an "African Pinochet"

Human Rights Watch

[accessed 21 August 2016]

Habré is accused of thousands of political killings and systematic torture when he ruled Chad, from 1982 to 1990. Hehas been living in exile in Senegal for more than 21 years but has yet to face justice there, despite being indicted in 2000. Habré is also wanted by Belgium on charges of crimes against humanity, war crimes, and torture.


From an old article -- URL not available

Article was published sometime prior to 2015


The police, the gendarmerie and members of the National Security Agency (Agence Nationale de Sécurité, ANS) regularly tortured suspects, sometimes with the involvement of local administrative authorities.

On 20 September Guintar Abel, a civil servant at the Ngondong sub-division in the Lac Wey department in southern Chad, died in hospital three weeks after being beaten by a local district chief and his bodyguards. At the end of the year, no action was known to have been taken.


Chadian officials and members of armed groups responsible for serious human rights violations, including unlawful killings, rape and other torture, continued to act with impunity.

On 10 January, the President passed an ordinance granting amnesty for crimes committed by members of armed groups. Some of those who benefited were suspected of committing crimes under international law.

Important recommendations of the commission of inquiry into the events in Chad between 28 January and 8 February 2008 had not been implemented by the end of the year, despite a presidential decree of 23 May installing a follow-up committee. The recommendations included investigations into the fate of opposition leader Ibni Oumar Mahamat Saleh, who was subjected to enforced disappearance following his arrest at his home in N’Djamena by members of the security services on 3 February 2008.


For current articles:: Search Amnesty International Website

[accessed 25 December 2018]

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Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

[accessed 22 January 2013]

[accessed 3 July 2019]

TORTURE AND OTHER CRUEL, INHUMAN, OR DEGRADING TREATMENT OR PUNISHMENT – Although the law prohibits such practices, members of the security forces tortured, beat, abused, and raped citizens. Impunity for those who committed human rights abuses remained widespread.

In March gendarmes arrested and tortured a herder, Adelrahman Abakar, in Salamat. He had failed to acquire the necessary legal travel documents from gendarmes before moving his cattle through the area and refused to pay a bribe. No action was taken against the gendarmes.

According to the Chadian League of Human Rights (LTDH), in April gendarmes arrested and beat Malloum Ali in Bol, and the chief commandant of the gendarmerie brigade ordered his fingers to be cut off.

Also in April members of the nomadic guard arrested and tortured a government official in Adre. He had refused to provide an official car to transport troops for the governor's motorcade. Authorities took no action against the guard members.

In August police castrated a man after a dispute over a woman. The officers involved paid for the man's treatment. No further action was taken against the police officers implicated.

By year's end no action had been taken against the soldiers who harassed local citizens in Chagoua in 2003.

Unlike the previous year, there were no reports that members of the security forces threatened and beat officials of the local power and water utilities when their services were cut or reduced during shortages. However, power company officials used military and police escorts when investigating and turning off power to illegal power users, some of whom were members of the security forces.

Security forces beat a journalist and an NGO member during the year (see sections 2.a. and 4).

During the year police and gendarmes continued to rape women in custody.

Freedom House Country Report - Political Rights: 7   Civil Liberties: 6   Status: Not Free

2009 Edition

[accessed 22 January 2013]

LONG URL   ç 2009 Country Reports begin on Page 21

[accessed 11 May 2020]

The rule of law and the judicial system remain weak, with courts heavily influenced by Deby and his inner circle. In addition to his upcoming trial in Senegal, former president Hissene Habre was sentenced to death in absentia—along with 11 suspected rebel leaders, including NA head Mahamat Nouri—by a Chadian court in August 2008; an additional 31 suspected rebels received life sentences. Civilian leaders do not maintain effective control of the security forces, which routinely ignore constitutional protections regarding search, seizure, and detention. Human rights groups credibly accuse the security forces and rebel groups of killing and torturing with impunity. Overcrowding, disease, and malnutrition make prison conditions harsh, and many inmates are held for years without charge.

U.S. Library of Congress - Country Study 1990

Library of Congress Call Number DT546.422 .C48 1990

[accessed 21 July 2017]

INTERNAL SECURITY AND PUBLIC ORDER – During more than twenty years of domestic conflict, the agencies of public order and the judiciary in Chad were severely disrupted. In areas of rebel activity in the south and in regions of the north under Libyan domination, the forces of civil protection and the system of criminal justice disintegrated. Where the national government was able to reimpose its authority, harsh and arbitrary martial law often resulted in mistreatment, torture, and extrajudicial detentions and executions. By 1986 efforts were under way to rebuild the civilian legal system, although long periods of detention without trial were still common, and the rights of accused persons were not fully respected during court proceedings.

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Cite this webpage as: Patt, Prof. Martin, " Torture by Police, Forced Disappearance & Other Ill Treatment in the early years of the 21st Century- Chad",, [accessed <date>]