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Chad suspends 12 newspapers over lack of training

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Chad’s paramount media authority has suspended 12 newspapers for three months for failing to conform with a 2018 law, under a decree published on Monday.

The High Authority for Audiovisual Media (HAMA) cited failure to meet requirements that the publisher and editor-in-chief of any outlet or periodical “each be trained in journalism, and have at least three years’ higher education.”

It called on the publications to meet these norms during their suspension or face “tougher sanctions.”

The 12 newspapers comprise five French-language publications, the Haut Parleur, Barometre, Suggestion, Potentiel and Lalakoum, and seven Arabic publications, Tchad Al Yam, Alnada, Chaba Tchad, Al Khabar, Al Ayam, Al Haya and Atihad.

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The head of the Chadian Human Rights League, Max Loalngar, told AFP that the suspension was a “shame” for the country and called on HAMA to give the newspapers time to adjust to the new law.

Chad’s media industry has thrived since it was liberalised in 1990.

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The impoverished central-western African countries has around 40 newspapers, 60 or so private or association radio stations, and five TV channels.

Rights watchdogs have frequently sounded warnings of abuses under the regime of President Idriss Deby Itno, 68.

Deby came to power in a coup in 1990, overthrowing his former boss, the authoritarian Hissene Habre, whom he once served as a military advisor.

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