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Resolution adopted unanimously by the IPU Governing Council at its 192nd session
(Quito, 27 March 2013)

The Governing Council of the Inter-Parliamentary Union,

Referring to the case of Mr. Ngarleji Yorongar, a member of the National Assembly of Chad, and to the resolution it adopted at its 191st session (October 2012),

Considering the information provided by the authorities and the sources met by the President of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians during his visit to Chad from 28 February to 2 March 2013,

Recalling the following information on file:

  • Mr. Yorongar and other members of the political opposition were abducted during a rebel attack on the capital city of Chad between 28 January and 8 February 2008;

  • The national Commission of Inquiry established by the authorities to investigate those events established in its report, published in early September 2008, that Mr. Yorongar “was arrested at his home on Sunday, 3 February 2008, at about 5.45 p.m. by eight to 10 elements of the defence and security forces carrying weapons some of which were reminiscent of those of the presidential guard, led by a tall (1m 80) robust man travelling in a khaki Toyota pick-up, new and with no number plate”;

  • The Commission concluded that “abductions and arrests, together with acts of intimidation against opposition politicians, had occurred after the rebel withdrawal from N’Djamena; [which] clearly involves the responsibility of the defence and security forces”, and specified that, insofar as “from 3 February 2008 onwards, public security was mainly provided by elements of the presidential guard, it can also be inferred that the Chadian State was responsible”;

  • The Commission recommended that the government “pursue the police and judicial investigations with a view to determining the place of detention and the re‑appearance of Mr. Yorongar in Cameroon […], that it compensate the victims or their families in an equitable and not merely symbolic manner […]” and that it set up a specialized committee entrusted with monitoring the effective implementation of its recommendations;

  • That committee was established in late September 2008 and chaired by the Prime Minister; initially made up of a dozen ministers, it was expanded in January 2011 to include two international experts, from the European Union and the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie; a technical subcommittee in charge of the follow-up committee’s secretariat and a legal pool comprising State prosecutors, magistrates, judges and bailiffs and tasked with the management of ongoing judicial proceedings were set up under the coordination of the Prosecutor General;

  • The conclusions of the Commission of Inquiry were laid before the Prosecutor General, who opened judicial cases; owing to the 12-month deadline for the preliminary enquiry, the first trials were to start in 2010; to date, however, none of the judicial proceedings relating to the hundreds of cases of enforced disappearance that occurred during the attacks of February 2008, in particular that of Mr. Yorongar, has resulted in an indictment; only about thirty women victims of rape have received humanitarian compensation from the government pending the judicial conclusions concerning the perpetrators of those crimes;

  • In a communication dated 9 October 2012, the Minister of Justice stated that it would be premature to draw conclusions on the perpetrators at that point in time, that the only reason for the slowness of the investigation, which concerned thousands of cases, was its complexity, which was related to the context in which the offences were perpetrated, and that Chad remained firmly committed to enabling the judicial system to investigate in full transparency and independence and to make available to it all the means it needed to establish the truth on the crimes and offences committed during the events of 2008,
Considering the following: the ill-treatment inflicted on Mr. Yorongar during his arrest in February 2008 reportedly affected his health, which has since deteriorated; Mr. Yorongar remains under medical treatment and regularly undergoes medical treatment abroad; he has filed a number of financial claims concerning the reimbursement of medical expenses and the payment of parliamentary stipends that he claims are owed to him by the National Assembly; bearing in mind that, during his hearing by the Committee at its 137th session (March-April 2012), the Speaker of the National Assembly indicated that all of Mr. Yorongar’s financial claims had been settled,

Considering that the Committee President visited Chad in order to meet all the competent authorities in the case, Mr. Yorongar and several representatives of the international community, that he met with the Speaker of the National Assembly, the Minister of Justice, the Prosecutor General and the chairman of the technical subcommittee, and that he learned the following:
  • Given the absence of progress in the investigations, a new examining magistrate was appointed at the end of 2011; a single examining magistrate is currently assigned to the legal pool in charge of examining the 1,050 cases relating to the events of February 2008, including that of Mr. Yorongar; the legal pool is experiencing numerous logistical and financial difficulties that hamper its effectiveness; the investigations have made no progress and have yet to identify any suspects;
  • The technical subcommittee, for its part, is focusing on implementation of the Commission of Inquiry’s recommendations regarding the legislative and regulatory framework, in particular with a view to empowering the judicial authorities to oversee all places of detention;
  • As concerns Mr. Yorongar’s case, the Minister of Justice and the Prosecutor General said that the judicial proceedings were stalled because Mr. Yorongar refused to be heard by the examining magistrate and had said that he opposed any judicial use of his statement to the Commission of Inquiry, which was apparently the only item in his file available to the examining magistrate; the Minister of Justice guaranteed that the investigations would start if Mr. Yorongar agreed to appear before the examining magistrate or gave written consent for the investigation to be continued on the basis of his statement to the Commission of Inquiry;
  • Mr. Yorongar confirmed that he refused to cooperate with the judicial authorities; he said that the Chadian judicial system was well known for its lack of independence and impartiality and that he no longer trusted it and preferred compensation to criminal proceedings; he was a long-standing member of the political opposition, and as such his fundamental rights had been violated on multiple occasions in the past and the numerous complaints he had filed before the courts had never been to any avail, the perpetrators going unpunished; consequently, and in view of the time that had elapsed since the events and the absence of any progress whatsoever in the investigation of the cases relating to the events of 2008, he did not believe that criminal proceedings would lead anywhere and did not wish to lend credibility to the process by participating in them;
  • Concerning Mr. Yorongar’s financial claims vis-à-vis the National Assembly, the Speaker of the National Assembly repeated that all of the claims for reimbursement and compensation owed for the current legislative period had been settled and that Mr. Yorongar had benefitted from a medical evacuation abroad in 2012; the claims relating to previous legislative periods were apparently unbacked by any supporting documents; the National Assembly Secretary General said that it would be difficult to check the claims because the National Assembly archives had disappeared during the events of February 2008, but he promised to take up the matter with the parliamentary budget office and to transmit the file to the National Assembly Bureau so that it could rule on the question once and for all; Mr. Yorongar was invited to provide the National Assembly with all the supporting documents for his claims as soon as possible,

Taking into account that the Speaker of the National Assembly confirmed that the National Assembly would become involved in the follow-up of the judicial proceedings, in the discharge of its role of government oversight and in strict compliance with the principles of separation of powers and the independence of the judiciary,

  1. Sincerely thanks the Speaker of the National Assembly for his cooperation and assistance during the visit by the Committee President to Chad and asks him to convey its thanks to the Minister of Justice, the Prosecutor General and all the authorities met during the visit; also thanks Mr. Yorongar, the members of the international community and the non-governmental human rights organizations for the information they provided;

  2. Remains deeply concerned that, more than five years after the serious human rights violations committed in February 2008, no progress has been made towards identifying the perpetrators of the crimes committed against Mr. Yorongar, despite the significant avenues of investigation indicated in the Commission of Inquiry’s report, in particular with regard to the implication of loyalist security forces in the commission of crimes and the responsibility of the Chadian State in this respect; can only express astonishment that only one examining magistrate is in charge, on his own, of 1,050 cases; doubts that serious investigations can be conducted in such circumstances; is also astonished that the draft legislative and regulatory texts drawn up by the technical subcommittee, in particular for the introduction of judicial control of civilian and military places of detention, have not yet been adopted; urges the competent authorities to move forward with the implementation of the Commission of Inquiry’s recommendations on those points and again suggests that they do all in their power to ensure that the investigations are pursued and produce tangible results as soon as possible, particularly in the case of Mr. Yorongar; welcomes the commitment of the Speaker of the National Assembly to become fully involved, in the discharge of his duty of oversight, in the follow-up of the judicial proceedings concerning Mr. Yorongar;

  3. Notes that Mr. Yorongar has refused to cooperate with the judicial authorities and that, according to the Minister of Justice and the Prosecutor General, his refusal is holding back the start of the investigation; nevertheless asks the competent authorities to inform it about the possibility of pursuing the investigation despite Mr. Yorongar’s refusal to cooperate; would like to know in particular if the examining magistrate has heard the people who, at the time of the February 2008 events, were responsible for the defence and security forces, in particular the presidential guard, and the soldiers who took action to counter the rebel attack, in view of the conclusions of the Commission of Inquiry’s report on their responsibility for the acts committed against opposition members;

  4. Understands why Mr. Yorongar feels that the investigation concerning him has made no progress in the past five years, but is nevertheless surprised by this attitude and finds it hard to understand why he refuses to authorize the examining magistrate to use his statement to the Commission of Inquiry; asks Mr. Yorongar to clarify the reasons for his refusal; wishes to point out that this attitude would appear to do little to establish the truth and invites Mr. Yorongar to reconsider the matter, especially in view of the undertaking by the Minister of Justice and the Prosecutor General to start the investigation as soon as his written agreement has been confirmed;

  5. Takes note that Mr. Yorongar has said that he would henceforth prefer compensation and asks Mr. Yorongar and the competent authorities if, under Chadian legislation, procedures other than criminal proceedings would allow Mr. Yorongar to obtain compensation for the injury sustained;

  6. Invites Mr. Yorongar to provide all the supporting documents for his financial claims and asks the Speaker of the National Assembly to ensure that they are examined as soon as possible by the parliamentary budget office and the Bureau with a view to settling the matter once and for all;

  7. Requests the Secretary General to convey the present resolution to the Speaker of the National Assembly, the Minister of Justice, the sources, and the members of the international community involved in following up the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry into the events of February 2008;

  8. Requests the Committee to continue examining this case and to report back to it in due course.
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