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Chad Political Detentions Alarm UN Rights Agency

Reports of political detentions in Chad alarm UN human rights agency

22 February 2008 - The United Nations human rights agency says it is concerned by the reported abduction and detention of several opposition leaders and members of civil society organizations in Chad, following the recent rebel assault on the capital, N'Djamena.

"While appreciating that the Chadian Government has faced a major crisis, the Office has called for fundamental human rights and freedoms to be respected during the state of emergency," Rupert Colville, spokesperson for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), said.

"We remain concerned about reports of killings of large numbers of civilians during the fighting and call upon the Government of Chad to fully investigate these allegations and hold those responsible to account," he added.

A 15 February presidential decree that declared a nationwide state of emergency authorized house searches and press controls, as well as limiting movement of people and vehicles and banning most meetings, according to OHCHR.

"We call on the Government of Chad to respect fundamental human rights and freedoms during the period of the state of emergency, which we hope will be as brief as possible," Mr. Colville said.

ENDS

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