unilad
Advert
Advert
Advert
Advert

44 Prisoners Die In One Night After Being Crowded Into Same Cell In Chad

by : Emma Rosemurgey on : 09 Aug 2020 16:59
44 Prisoners Die In One Night After Being Crowded Into Same Cell44 Prisoners Die In One Night After Being Crowded Into Same CellPA Images

A group of 44 prisoners have died after being crowded in the same prison cell during a heatwave in Chad.

An investigation has concluded that the prisoners died as a result of scorching hot temperatures, overcrowding, thirst and hunger, between April 14 and April 15, 2020.

Prosecutors involved in the case suggested the suspects were Boko Haram militants, who had taken poison to kill themselves. However, the National Human Rights Commission insists they were civilians.

Advert
44 Prisoners Die In One Night After Being Crowded Into Same Cell44 Prisoners Die In One Night After Being Crowded Into Same CellPA Images

The 44 prisoners, who were all male, were found dead in their cell, located just outside N’Djamena, on the morning of April 15. They were part of a wider group of 58 men, who were captured during an army operation against Islamist militants Boko Haram.

The investigation heard how 40 of the men were buried and the remaining four were taken to a pathologist, who found traces of poison in their systems.

Chad’s Justice Minister Djimet Arabi said he would take the Commission’s report into consideration, however he also suggested it could have been a mass-suicide, and denied any mistreatment.

Advert

The Commission’s report paints a very different picture though, claiming the men were not militants and were instead innocent farmers and villagers who had been randomly arrested, while noting that the operation against Boko Haram was over at the time these particular arrests had been made.

44 Prisoners Die In One Night After Being Crowded Into Same Cell44 Prisoners Die In One Night After Being Crowded Into Same CellPA Images

The report goes on to describe horrific and unsanitary conditions of the prison cell under scorching temperatures, which saw some prisoners falling to the ground in weakness.

Of the 14 who survived the ordeal, many of them recall asking the guards for help, but say they were ignored.

Advert

The report said, as per AFP, via BBC News:

The jailers did not deign to give assistance to anyone in danger in these conditions despite cries of distress and prayers recited all night.

An army operation against Boko Haram was launched following the death of 98 Chadian soldiers, who were killed at their Lake Chad base on March 23.

44 Prisoners Die In One Night After Being Crowded Into Same Cell44 Prisoners Die In One Night After Being Crowded Into Same CellPA Images
Advert

They claimed to have killed more than 1,000 militants during the eight-day operation designed to flush out the militants from various hideouts around the lake.

As of Saturday, August 8, Chad President Idriss Deby claimed there are now no Boko Haram militants left in the country, though he added he expects further battles against jihadists who may travel over from Nigeria and Niger.

The investigation to determine the blame of the prisoners’ deaths continues.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]

Emma Rosemurgey

Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Journalist who started her career by producing The Royal Rosemurgey newspaper in 2004, which kept her family up to date with the goings on of her sleepy north east village. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining Tyla (formerly Pretty 52) in 2017, and progressing onto UNILAD in 2019.

Topics: News, Boko Haram, Cell, Chad, jail, Militants, Now, prison, prisoners

Credits

BBC
  1. BBC

    Chad inquiry finds 44 prisoners died in hot, overcrowded cell