French writer expelled from Chad after criticising regime

18th April 2016, Comments 0 comments

A French author who has denounced President Idriss Deby's regime in Chad and who was detained on arriving in N'Djamena, was expelled to neighbouring Cameroon on Monday, an AFP journalist saw.

Before boarding a flight to Douala, Thomas Dietrich claimed that he had been beaten up and deprived of his money and cellphone after his arrest, which was carried by agents of the National Security Agency, according to the Chadian opposition.

"His visa request was denied in Paris, so he went to (Cameroonian capital) Yaounde to get one. He was detained this morning," a police source told AFP on Sunday, the day after Dietrich arrived in the north central African nation.

Dietrich had announced his visit to N'Djamena on Facebook, where he criticised "the dictatorship that oppresses Chad" and "human rights violations", expressing solidarity with a "people who cry famine" despite oil revenues for more than a decade.

Last January he published a novel called "Les enfants de Toumai" ("The Children of Toumai"), a love story between a Chadian Muslim girl and a Maoist student from a Christian background.

Chad is still awaiting the official results of an April 10 presidential election in which a dozen candidates challenged Deby's 26-year grip on power, but he is expected to win comfortably. His regime has cracked down on public protest.

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© 2016 AFP

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