N’Djamena – Chadian security forces killed a prisoner linked with the African country’s rebel groups and seriously injured five others, an NGO said on Friday, a claim denied by the authorities.
The Sahel state has battled an insurgency led by a large rebel group called the Front for Change and Concord in Chad (FACT), which was fighting long-serving former president Idriss Deby Itno when the strongman was killed fighting rebels in April.
Police and gendarmes fired tear gas into enclosed spaces in a jail holding FACT members south of the capital N’Djamena, leaving one person dead and five seriously injured, according to Dobiang Assingar of the International Federation for Human Rights.
“There were a lot of people who fainted, and others choking,” he said, calling it a “serious and criminal act punishable by law”.
Chad’s authorities denied the claim.
“The prisoners refused to be searched and resisted and, as there were many of them, we called the anti-riot police to restore order. There are no injured or dead,” said public prosecutor Moussa Wade.
Chad’s military junta on Monday declared a “general amnesty” for rebels and political dissidents, meeting a key demand by opposition groups invited to join a forum on the troubled country’s future.
President Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno, who became Chad’s leader after his father’s death, has promised “free and transparent” elections within 18 months.
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