Practice Relating to Rule 90. Torture and Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment
Chad’s Instructor’s Manual (2006) prohibits “torture and humiliating and degrading treatment”.
The manual also states that “torture and ill-treatment” is a grave breach of the 1949 Geneva Conventions and thus a war crime.
In 1997, in its initial report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, Chad stated:
In Chad, the prohibition on torture is a constitutional principle (art. 18) and a number of legislative measures have been taken to give full effect to this prohibition (Penal Code, art. 247). Specific provisions punish persons guilty of using violence against juveniles and jeopardizing their health by depriving them of food or care (Penal Code, art. 254).
In 2007, in its initial report to the Committee against Torture, Chad stated:
10. Since the early years of independence the Republic of Chad has had a long tradition of … torture … , fed by intercommunal conflicts and bloody internecine civil wars in the struggle for power.
11 … [T]orture is not a separate offence in our current national legal instruments.
12. This situation is linked to the lack of harmonization of our domestic legal framework with the Convention that is the subject of this report [1984 Convention against Torture]. However, the 1967 legislature defined torture as an aggravating circumstance in criminal proceedings.
13. The Constitution, the supreme law of the country, reaffirms in its preamble Chad’s attachment to the general principles of human rights as defined by the  Charter of the United Nations, the  Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the  African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights; the principle of the inviolability of the human person is also affirmed. Thus, the Constitution, in its article 17, paragraph 1, stipulates that: “The human person is sacred and inviolable.”
14. In thus establishing through its Constitution some provisions that prohibit the practice of torture, Chad unquestionably adheres to the perception of international law to the effect that torture is a crime and as such destroys the victim’s personality and is no less than a negation of the dignity inherent in the human person.
17 … [A]fter independence Chad entered a period of political instability that favoured the systematic practice of torture and inhuman and degrading treatment of civilians, captured soldiers and political detainees among others.
18. The regime of President Ngarta Tombalbaye was marked by the 1965 uprising of the population of Mangalmé, which was brutally put down. The emergence of the armed rebellion in 1966 marks the starting-point of political instability that became virtually institutional and led to the outbreak of civil war in 1979. This civil war eventually brought FRONILAT (Chad National Liberation Front) to power in November 1979. A government of national union and transition was set up and headed by President Goukouni Weddeye, who, unfortunately, had to resort to martial law and public executions in order to put a stop to widespread banditry.
19. That respite was brief, for on 21 March 1980 Hissène Habré’s Armed Forces of the North (FAN) and Goukouni Weddeye’s Popular Armed Forces (FAP) clashed in N’Djamena …
20. After Hissène Habré returned to N’Djamena and seized power on 7 June 1982 human rights violation was to reach its apogee in Chad with the creation of the formidable political police, known as the Documentation and Security Directorate (DDS), created by Decree No. 005/PR/83 of 26 January 1983 and answerable directly to the Office of the President of the Republic.
21. The powers of the DDS were to:
- Collect and collate all information emanating from the country and abroad concerning foreign or foreign-instigated activities likely to jeopardize national unity;
- Identify foreign agents;
- Detect possible networks (information or action) and their organization;
- Identify the immediate or future aims being pursued;
- Prepare counter-espionage, counter-interference and, if necessary, counter-propaganda measures;
- Collaborate in enforcement by establishing files on individuals, groups and communities suspected of activities that ran counter to or were merely injurious to the national interest;
- Provide security protection for Chad’s embassies abroad and for diplomatic mail.
22. These powers, as envisaged, were no different from those of similar bodies in countries where democracy and respect for human rights are guaranteed. The eloquence of the text creating the DDS was a front for the dangerous mission to terrorize the population the better to enslave them. One of the methods systematically used to accomplish this macabre mission was torture.
23. The report of the Commission of Inquiry into former President Habré’s crimes and abuses of power, created by Decree No. 014/PR/P.CE/CJ/90 of 29 December 1990, showed that DDS agents used various forms of torture, such as:
- A form of binding hands and feet together known as “arbatachar”;
- Forced swallowing of water;
- Spraying with gas (in the eyes, nose, etc.);
- Exhaust pipe (in the mouth, etc.);
- Burning with red-hot substances;
- Cohabitation with corpses;
- Stick torture;
- The “black diet”;
- Pulling out of fingernails;
- Withholding of medical care; and
- Electric shocks.
65. Harmful traditional practices and the lessons drawn from the torture practised by President Habré’s political police … were the inspiration for the promulgation of Act No. 6/PR/2002 of 15 April 2002 … , article 9 of which states that:
All persons have the right not to be subjected to torture and to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of their body in general.
Chad further stated:
The Commission of Inquiry of the Ministry of Justice into the crimes and abuses of power of former President Habré and his accomplices
112. The determination of the Chadian people to turn the final page on torture, and the foundation of the Government’s actions to that end, are manifest in the report of the aforesaid Commission, in which the key phrase is: “Never again”. Although the Commission was established prior to Chad’s ratification of the  Convention [against Torture], its report is just as relevant today. It is, in fact, the principal basis for the trial of Habré and his accomplices and for the fight against torture. The acts attributed to Habré and his accomplices are precisely those referred to in article 4 of the Convention which is the subject of the present report.
113. The Commission of Inquiry was created by Decree No. 014/P.CE/CJ/90 of 29 December 1990 at the end of Hissène Habré’s dictatorship and entrusted with the task of assessing the reign of terror that had cost so many human lives.
114. Placed under the authority of the Ministry of Justice, the Commission of Inquiry’s tasks were to:
- Investigate the … acts of torture and barbarism, ill-treatment, other attacks on physical and moral integrity and all human rights violations …
- Determine the amount of the contribution to the war effort and its use as of 1986.
Chad also stated: “The endemic and recurrent state of war in the country often gives the forces of law and order the opportunity to commit innumerable acts of torture during their investigations for the identification of a perpetrator or accomplice.”
In 2009, in its written replies to the issues raised by the Human Rights Committee with regard to Chad’s initial report, Chad stated:
31. There is no law in Chad specifically criminalizing the act of torture; torture can only be an aggravating factor …
32. The Government’s commitment to the respect and protection of its citizens in this regard is demonstrated by its ratification of the  Convention against Torture … on 9 June 1995 and the establishment of the National Human Rights Commission in 1994. Steps are being taken to align domestic law and these could lead in the very near future to the implementation of the Convention against Torture. The Criminal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure date back to 1967, however, and will have to be amended to include the new offences.