Contributor(s)International Prison Observatory - Chadian section

Physical integrity

There were no executions between 2003 and 2015. Parliament abolished the death penalty in 2014. An anti-terrorist law reintroduced it in July 2015.   

Two double suicide attacks committed by Boko Haram in June and July in N’Djamena resulted in 53 dead and 181 injured. Ten members were arrested. A secret hearing was held over a period of eight days. The ten members were executed on August 29, the day after they had been sentenced to death. The UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions condemned the process, as the trial did not respect international standards on human rights.

Number of executions



The number of deaths and their causes are not recorded. Suicides are rare.   

Prison guards have been known to commit murder and acts of torture. Amnesty International’s 2012 report denounced murders resulting from the repression of riots. No competent authority investigated these deaths.

Hygiene conditions and medical care are poor. Prisoners suffering HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis or sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) die daily in prisons.

Torture, inhumane and degrading treatments are common in prisons. Perpetrators are rarely prosecuted. Prison staff do not receive training on human rights. Doctors do not have sufficient training to detect signs of torture or mistreatment.   

Overcrowding and harmful conditions of prisons (poor food, drinking water, ventilation, hygiene, and insufficient care) constitute inhumane and degrading treatment according to the Committee Against Torture (2009).   

Prisoners who are considered difficult are often placed in isolation or chained by their feet day and night, for long periods. Torturous acts and murders are committed within cells. According to the Chadian Section of the International Prison Observatory (IPO), prisoners are beaten with shards of glass or made to swallow sand and petrol mixtures. The guards practice a form of torture called Arbatachar: the prisoner’s feet and arms are attached to their back which can result in paralysis, injuries, or even gangrene.   

Prison gangs (called “the Colombians”) operate in prisons, abusing other inmates. Prisoners do not complain, fearing retaliation. The Chadian Section of International Prison Observatory (IPO) denounces the practice of passage aux urines: when new prisoners’ heads are submerged in a bucket of urine and excrement. If a prisoner pays a prison guard (or the gang) he can escape this torture.   

Women and minors sharing common spaces with male prisoners are often subject to rape and acts of violence.

For decades, arbitrary detention has been common in Chad.   

The journalist and director of the publication Le haut parleur, Stéphane Mbaïrabé, published an article denouncing corrupt practices by the General Director of Customs and brother of the President of the Republic, Salay Deby. Mbaïrabé was arrested on the 2nd of October without a warrant (for the second time in a year). He was taken to the Central Commissariat of N’Djamena. He was handcuffed, blindfolded and beaten so that he would reveal the sources of his article. The arrest was made public by several media outlets and denounced by Reporters Without Borders (RWB) and the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights (CTDDH). Mbaïrabé was prosecuted for defamation, even though Deby was subsequently fired and prosecuted for corruption.