Senegal : Hissène Habré’s trial, verdict in April 2017

habre

"Historical" : is the adjective frequently used to describe the trial of the former dictator Hissène Habré. In May 2016, the Extraordinary African Chambers in Dakar sentenced him to life imprisonment for war crimes, crimes against humanity, torture and rape. He must also pay 30 000 euros in awards to each victim.

Habré came to power through armed force and ruled Chad with an iron fist from 1982 to 1990; 40 000 people were killed during this period. Overthrown by his advisor, Idriss Déby (current president of Chad), he fled to Senegal where he stayed until his arrest, after 22 years of exile. The trial initiated in July 2015, where hundreds of witnesses and representatives of the victims testified recounting the atrocities incurred during the dictatorship.

During his trial, the former head of government refused to express himself and he refused representation before a jurisdiction he did not recognise. The three lawyers assigned to his defence appealed against the judgement based on “irregularities, […] error of procedure”. His appeal trial initiated on 9 January 2017, in his absence.

"I have no doubt that the judgment will be confirmed. You cannot impunity violate international laws with impunity", said Souleymane Guengueng[1]. Imprisoned under the Habré regime and president of an association of victims, he is part of the International Committee for the Fair Judgement of Hissène Habré, of which AEDH is a member.

The verdict will be hand down late April and will seal the former president’s fate.

Farah Ouertani

[1] In Dakar, appeal trial of Hissène Habré convicted for crimes against humanity - 09/01/2017, Le Monde.

 

 

 

 

 

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