Chadian Justice Minister Mahamat Alhabo addresses the Justice situation in Chad
On the 5th of July Minister of Justice and Human Rights Mr. Mahamat Ahmad Alhabo spoke to journalists about the current justice situation in Chad.
Justice Minister Alhabo spoke out against the disrespect and mistrust of the Justice system in Chad, regarding the recent murder of the Magistrate in Oum Hadjer.
“In a normal country, a litigant must be afraid of the magistrate because they are the only people authorized to indict and lock someone up. Not even I the Minister can. It is the magistrate who can deprive you of your freedom, you must be afraid of it. Unfortunately this is not the case in our country. Not only are people not afraid but it is sad to realize that the litigants come with their handguns to the point of killing a magistrate. This is the pinnacle. It is an act of contempt for magistrates and judges. It is all the same sad that a magistrate, in the exercise of his function, in broad daylight, is assassinated. In the past, several magistrates have been mistreated, threatened. Today, we have reached the height of mistrust of justice “Chadian Minister of Justice Mahamat Ahmad Alhabo
Alhabo also explained the unwillingness of the on duty gendarmes (Military Police) to stop the murder of Magistrate Ahmat Mahamat Amba in Oum Hadjer.
“A litigant came to the Palace and pulled his knife. And the gendarmes were not able to neutralize him. The magistrate, while backing up, stumbled on a motorcycle. The litigant rushed at him and stuck the knife in his heart. Why? I ask myself the question, the gendarme who is there, who must ensure the protection of this magistrate, why did he not use his weapon or his force, because a gendarme is a soldier. And a soldier is a man who is trained to ensure the protection of men. Even if he has nothing in his hands, he is an armed man. He must be able to neutralize any civilian with techniques that are appropriate for him. Maybe he could beat that gentleman’s feet so that he couldn’t move around with his gun in the yard. He didn’t. You know why? Because he is afraid. He does not know who this assailant is. If he killed him, he is afraid that the administration will leave he and his family alone to settle the matter of the ‘Diya’ (blood price, Editor’s note), or else he will be the victim of a vendetta. Even those who are supposed to ensure the safety of public figures are afraid to do their job because they do not have enough protection themselves.”Minister of Justice and Human Rights Mahamat Ahmad Alhabo
Through this speech Alhabo voices the thoughts of thousands in Chad and further exposes a systemic problem with justice there, which is his responsibility.
Yet, in the wake of this incident the Justice Department’s only apparent measure is the immediate increase in numbers of the on duty guard at Justice buildings around the country. The Justice Department is the Minister of Justice’s responsibility, and it remains to be seen whether anyone will attempt to resolve this systemic problem apparent in society. Meanwhile, most figures are avoiding the discussion of ingrained problems and stick to treating the symptom.
“In Chad, when you go to trial, you feel that it is not the law that you should blame, but the judge. We have drawn the government’s attention to these phenomena. We have asked that security guards be put in all the jurisdictions of the country to ensure the security of the courts. The courts are not protected.”Djonga Arafi, Secretary General of the Syndicate of Magistrates
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