Senegal: Hissene Habre indicted for crimes against humanity, war crimes and torture
International Federation for Human Rights
8 July 2013
On June 2nd 2013, Hissene Habre, former Chadian dictator between 1982 and 1990, was indicted for crimes against humanity, war crimes and torture. He was remanded in custody by the Senegalese investigating judge in charge of this case.
Habre is accused of thousands of political murders and the systematic use of torture when he was in power. Since then, he lives in exile in Senegal. In February 2013, the Extraordinary African Chambers within the Senegalese tribunal were created by Senegal and the African Union to try the crimes committed during the dictatorship. On June 30th 2013, Habre was remanded in custody by order of the Chambers’ Prosecutor. The investigating judges charged him following his first appearance on July 2nd 2013. He was then indicted and remanded in custody as requested by M. Mbacké Fall, General Prosecutor of the Extraordinary African Chambers.
FIDH and its member organisations in Chad, the “Chadian Association for the promotion and defense of Human rights - ATPDH”, the “Chadian Huamn rights league - LTDH” and in Senagal “the National Organisation for Human rights - ONDH”, and “the African reunion for Human rights - RADDHO”, welcome the indictment of Hissene Habre by the Extraordinary African Chambers. It marks a significant step forward for this case on which FIDH and his member organizations have been working on for over a decade, both regarding the establishment of facts and legal representation. (…)
This case has been marked by numerous developments. Habre was first prosecuted in Senegal in 2000 after a complaint filed by 7 victims, with the support of many NGOs including FIDH. (…)
After Macky Sall’s election as President of Senegal in April 2012, the African Union and Senegal agreed to create the “Extraordinary African Chambers” in order to bring the trial within Senegalese jurisdiction. These mixed Chambers have the jurisdiction to try the most serious crimes committed between 1982 and 1990 within the Chadian territory.
The pre-trial phase opened by the Chambers should last fifteen months. It could be followed by a trial opening at the end of 2014 or in 2015.
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