- Amnesty International (AI) raised fears over the safety of four prominent Chadian opposition leaders arrested by security forces in the capital N'Djamena on Sunday.
The whereabouts of Lol Mahamat Choua, Ngarlejy Yorongar, Ibni Oumar Mahamat Saleh, and Wadel Adbelkader Kamougué are not publicly known. But they are believed to be currently detained at the presidential palace.
"These opposition leaders are at grave risk of being tortured or forcibly disappeared," protested Tawanda Hondora, Deputy Director of AI's Africa Programme.
"The Chadian government must immediately reveal what has happened to the four men and why they have been arrested.
They must also inform their families and legal representatives of their whereabouts. They should then either charge them with a recognizable criminal offence or release them immediately."
N'Djamena authorities could not confirm the arrest of the four opposition leader, let alone justify the reasons for their detention or whether they are alive or death.
"The Chadian government seems to be using the current conflict with the armed opposition as a cover for arresting people peacefully opposed to government policy," said Hondora.
"While the world is distracted by the ongoing fighting, these people are being taken from their homes -- and we are not sure what will happen to them next."
Amnesty International fear that the opposition leaders could face the same fate as military officers and civilians arrested by security forces after an earlier attacked by armed opposition groups on N'Djamen in April 2006.
Three armed groups engaged government forces in what has been seen as the worst fight in the country in recent times.
The rebels attacked the capital and holed up President Idriss Deby in his palace before they were forced to retreat.
On Wednesday, President Deby said the situation was under control because government forces repulsed the rebellion.
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