The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today condemned the six-month extension of media control in Chad that is making independent reporting on the country’s rebellion and violence impossible and called on the government to rescind the law immediately.
Under the new rule, Chadian media face “preliminary censure” of private newspapers and radio stations are prohibited from broadcasting programs that could “harm public order, the national unity, the integrity of the territory and the respect of the republican institutions.”
“We condemn this serious violation of press freedom,” said Gabriel Baglo, director of the IFJ Africa Office. "The government of Chad must know that with today’s technology it is impossible to control information. These draconian actions will only make it easier for rumours and misinformation to become public knowledge while it prohibits professional reporting on the conflict.”
The Chadian National Assembly voted last Thursday to accept the Prime Minister’s proposal to extend for six months, as of November 26, the state of emergency issued in most of the country on November 13 to put an end to violence in the East.
By extending the state of emergency, the assembly also extended the law that subjects private newspapers to preliminary approval by government officials before publication. Radio stations are also limited in covering the country’s problems.
According to Chadian authorities, the introduction of the censorship of the media is explained by the fact that the warnings of the government and the recommendations of the High Council of Communication (HCC), the media regulatory body, “are regularly overridden”.
The IFJ is calling on the government to lift their censure on the media and use existing laws to ensure media freedom and responsible reporting in Chad.
For further information contact the IFJ: +221 842 01 43
The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 110 countries