Six opposition leaders arrested after violent anti-French protests in Chad were handed one-year suspended sentences on Monday for disturbing public order.
The demonstrators were protesting against what they see as France’s continued interference in the country’s politics.
“The prosecutor at this time has not put any evidence on the table, none, but he has requested prison sentences and damages plus fines. To get to this point, and to force the issue, the trial is necessarily political”, denounced Soumaine Adoum, Spokesperson of the Wakit Tamma coalition.
The coalition of opposition leaders and civil society groups, denounced the trial accusing Paris of supporting the transitional military council that continues to hold power in country.
“It is therefore a trial of France against the leaders of civil society in Chad and the population that challenges their policies in this country and the consequence of their policy in Chad” added the Spokesperson.
Chad has been under military rule since President Idriss Deby Itno, who had ruled with an iron fist for three decades, was killed in April 2021 during operations to crush rebels in the north of the country.
He was succeeded by his son Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno, a four-star general, now the transitional president.