• This open-air shack in Saint-Louis, a town in northern Senegal, serves as a so-called “Quranic school,” a typical example of the inhumane conditions in many such schools.
    Senegal has prosecuted only a handful of cases involving children who are trafficked and forced to beg by abusive teachers in Quranic schools despite a decade-old law outlawing the practice.

Reports

Senegal

  • Apr 27, 2015
    Human Rights Watch on April 27 issued an updated questions and answers document about the upcoming trial in Senegal of the former Chadian dictator Hissène Habré.
  • Apr 27, 2015

    In mid-2015, the former dictator of Chad, Hissène Habré, will stand trial on charges of crimes against humanity, torture and war crimes before the Extraordinary African Chambers in the Senegal court system. The chambers were inaugurated by Senegal and the African Union in February 2013 to prosecute the “person or persons” most responsible for international crimes committed in Chad between 1982 and 1990, the period when Habré ruled Chad. 

    Habré’s trial will be the first in the world in which the courts of one country prosecute the former ruler of another for alleged human rights crimes. It will also be the first universal jurisdiction case to proceed to trial in Africa. Universal jurisdiction is a concept under international law that allows national courts to prosecute the most serious crimes even when committed abroad, by a foreigner and against foreign victims. The French newspaper Le Monde has called the case “a turning point for justice in Africa.”

    The following questions and answers provide more information on the case and what lies ahead.

  • Apr 20, 2015
    Senegal has prosecuted only a handful of cases involving children who are trafficked and forced to beg by abusive teachers in Quranic schools despite a decade-old law outlawing the practice.
  • Mar 25, 2015
    The torture conviction in Chad on March 25 of 20 top security agents of the 1982-1990 Hissène Habré dictatorship is a victory for justice. The criminal court acquitted four others and ordered that the Chadian government and the convicted persons pay US$125 million in reparations to over 7,000 victims.
  • Feb 13, 2015
    The ruling on February 13, 2015, to move ahead with the trial of Hissène Habré, Chad’s former dictator, is a milestone in the long campaign to bring him to justice.
  • Jan 17, 2015

    “It took 24 years, but I finally got to face down the man who threw me in prison,” said Souleymane Guengueng with a big grin outside the courthouse in this dusty capital. “He couldn’t even deny what he did.”

  • Jan 16, 2015

    Dramatic evidence presented at the trial in Chad of 21 former security agents confirms that torture was systematic during the Hissène Habré dictatorship, from 1982 to 1990.

  • Dec 5, 2014

    Twenty-one former state security agents of the Hissène Habré dictatorship have been on trial in Chad since November 14 on the basis of criminal complaints filed by dozens of victims in 2000. 

     

  • Nov 10, 2014

    The scheduled trial in Chad of 26 former state security agents of the Hissène Habré dictatorship is a significant step in the long struggle of the survivors for justice. Amid fears that the case was being rushed through, however, Human Rights Watch called on the Chadian authorities to ensure that the trial, to begin in N’Djaména on November 14, is carried out in a fair and transparent manner.

     

  • Nov 2, 2014

    141 African human rights groups from 32 countries today issued an open letter expressing support for the efforts by Senegal and the African Union to prosecute crimes committed during the rule of former Chadian president Hisséne Habré.