Success: Activist Released From Prison

Nicolas Raymond

Target: Mahamat Issa Halikimi, Minister of Human Rights

Goal: Celebrate the release of a Chadian prisoner of conscience.

Djeralar Miankeol, a Chadian activist who was charged with “insulting the judiciary,” convicted, and sentenced to two years in prison and a fine of about $170 (US), has been released, and all the charges against him have been dropped. Sign the petition and join in celebrating what Miankeol’s wife calls “an act of justice in a sea of injustice.”

Miankeol was detained following a radio interview in which he criticized the Chadian judicial system. He was charged with “insulting the judiciary,” imprisoned, and convicted not long after. His lawyers appealed the sentence, which was overturned by the Moundou Court of Appeal. According to Amnesty International, the ruling included a statement from the President of the Court, who said, “Djeralar may go to his family and be taken care of. He is free. There is nothing to fear.”

International pressure played a large role in Miankeol’s release, his wife said, describing the international outcry as a “defense of the rights of the voiceless.” She sincerely thanked all those who took action on her husband’s behalf–a group that includes members of the ForceChange community, who signed a petition calling for Miankeol’s release. Congratulations to all on the release of Djeralar Miankeol!

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Minister,

I am writing to congratulate you on the recent release of Djeralar Miankeol, an activist whose arrest and conviction constituted a severe miscarriage of justice. The fact that the charges against him have been dropped and that he is now free shows that even grave injustices can be amended, and that it is never too late to do what is right.

Miankeol was arrested and charged with “insulting the judiciary” after giving a radio interview in which he criticized the Chadian judicial system. The overturning of his conviction reaffirms Chad’s commitment to human rights, particularly the right to free speech.

Miankeol’s wife called her husband’s release “an act of justice in a sea of injustice.” Her sentiments are shared by those around the world who spoke up in support of Miankeol. It is truly heartening to see Chad’s judicial system quickly respond to and correct a violation of human rights, and I once again offer my congratulations on Chad’s reaffirmed commitment to protecting and respecting the rights of all citizens.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Nicolas Raymond

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