Target: Mahamat Issa Halikimi, Minister of Human Rights
Goal: Release a Chadian activist from prison, where he is at risk of ill-treatment and human rights violations.
Activist Djeralar Miankeol, Director of Association Ngaoubourandi (ASNGA), has been charged with contempt of court following a radio interview in which he criticized Chad’s judicial system. He is being detained in prison until a hearing is held, and while authorities claim that a date has been set, no date has been given to Miankeol’s lawyer or family. Sign the petition and demand that Djeralar Miankeol be released immediately and unconditionally and that all judicial harassment of him and his family end.
Miankeol was summoned to the public prosecutor’s office for questioning in the days following his interview. There he was arrested and charged with contempt of court as a result of his earlier remarks. While the public prosecutor told Amnesty International that Miankeol’s hearing date was set, Miankeol’s family and lawyer have not been informed of any hearing.
Amnesty also reports that “prison conditions in Chad are so deplorable that they amount to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.” Cells are overcrowded and necessities like food and water are in short supply or are completely unavailable. Prisoners depend on help from family members, who bring them food and personal hygiene items.
Miankeol is clearly a prisoner of conscience being kept in incredibly substandard conditions. He must be released immediately and the charges against him ought to be dropped.
I am writing to urge the immediate and unconditional release of activist Djeralar Miankeol, who is being held on a charge of contempt of court after he gave a radio interview criticizing Chad’s judicial system. He is clearly a prisoner of conscience, held simply for the peaceful expression of his political beliefs, and as such he must be released.
In addition to concerns about the illegitimacy of the charge against Miankeol, there are concerns about his well-being as long as he remains in prison. The substandard conditions of Chad’s prison system make it certain that he will experience ill-treatment and human rights violations during his incarceration, as his access to common necessities such as food and water will be restricted. His family lives some distance away and it is a hardship for them to travel to see him and provide him with food and personal hygiene products.
Furthermore, there is conflicting information regarding the date of Miankeol’s hearing. Amnesty International received information from the public prosecutor that a date had been set, but Miankeol’s lawyer and family reported that they had received no such information.
Djeralar Miankeol is entitled to the same human rights as anyone else, and his have been violated repeatedly at the hands of the Chadian government. I urge you to make things right: release Miankeol immediately and unconditionally, drop the charges against him, and ensure that up until his release he is treated in accordance with international human rights laws and fair trial procedures.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Nicolas Raymond