Six Chadian opposition leaders, including the co-ordinator of the main opposition coalition Wakit Tamma, have been sentenced to one year in prison with a one-year suspension for disturbing public order.
In addition, they were fined 10 million CFA francs ($16,000; £12,800). The public prosecutor had sought two years in prison, a fine of 100,000 CFA francs, and damages of 2 billion CFA francs.
The case arose after an authorised march against France’s military presence in Chad on May 14 turned violent.
Following the incident, authorities arrested a number of march organisers, who denied any involvement in the violence.
Their trial began on Monday morning at a court in Moussoro, about 290 kilometres from N’Djamena‘s capital, with defense lawyers boycotting the hearing amid heavy police presence.
The activists had previously refused to leave custody in order to attend the hearing.
Their attorneys stated that they intend to appeal the sentence to the Court of Appeal in the capital, claiming that the trial was unfair.
The case takes place against a backdrop of political tension, with a military junta in power after the death of the country’s veteran leader, Idriss Déby, more than a year ago.
Chad has been ruled by the military since President Idriss Deby Itno, who ruled with an iron fist for three decades, was assassinated in April 2021 during operations to crush rebels in the country’s north.
His son, Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno, a four-star general who is now the transitional president, succeeded him.
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