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Victims Played Key Role in Hissene Habré’s Reckoning

“Never before had victims’ voices been so dominant”,  declared journalist Thierry Cruvellier, who’s spent two decades observing international war crimes prosecutions, as the trial of Chad’s former dictator Hissene Habré reached it…
Hissene Habre Trial
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A special court in Senegal convicted Hissène Habré, the former president of Chad, for atrocity crimes on May 30, and sentenced him to life in prison. It was the first time that the courts of one country had prosecuted the former ruler of another for…
Victims Habré
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(Dakar, Senegal) -- “To the victims I ask for forgiveness. I know it’s not sufficient, but I ask for forgiveness.” Bandjim Bandoum, once a top political police agent of the former Chadian dictator, Hissène Habré, had waited 25 years to unburden himself.…
Hissène Habré at trial
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Hissène Habré, Chad’s brutal former dictator, faces the heat in a criminal court.

DAKAR, Senegal — They’re working on the hotel pool, which only reminds me of the mass atrocities we’re all here for. The trial of former Chadian president Hissène Habré on charges of crimes against humanity, torture and war crimes started …
habre
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“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.” Guengueng, who barely survived two-…
News
“They owe me a child, they’re going to pay for what happened to my child!” shouted Oumar Goujda as he stood before the presiding judge of N’Djamena’s Criminal Court on November 21.  In April 1989, as Hissène Habré’s government was conducting a campaign of…
News

The Habré Trial: 23 Years On

After years of perseverance from victims of Habré's violent rule, the case against the former dictator is finally gathering steam. "Since when has justice come all the way to Chad?" a former political prisoner said in 2000 when Human Rights…
News
Sifting through the thousands of documents strewn across the floors of an abandoned secret police headquarters in Chad, Reed Brody glimpsed the violent, final moments of Rose Lokissim’s brave life. Brody, counsel for Human Rights Watch, first…
News

President Obama's Africa trip could help spur the prosecution of a former despot

When President Obama visits Senegal this week, he will have the opportunity to show his support for a bold initiative to bring to justice the dictator responsible for torturing me and thousands of my countrymen. On Dec. 1, 1990, when Hissen…
News
Former Guatemalan strongman Efraín Ríos Montt went on trial in Guatemala City late last month on charges of genocide relating to the massacres of indigenous Mayan people during his rule. The trial of a former dictator is a remarkable…
News

After a long wait, Chad's former dictator will be tried in a court in Senegal. If the trial is fair and effective, we could soon be talking about the "Habré precedent".

22 years after Hissène Habré, the former dictator of Chad, was overthrown and fled to Senegal, he is finally scheduled to face prosecution for brutality against his own people. Today, Senegal inaugurates the Extraordinary African Chambers within the…
News
The most brutal U.S.-backed dictator you’ve never heard of – Hissène Habré of Chad – is facing a trial before a unique court set up in his Senegalese exile.  The court’s creation last week in Dakar, Senegal is a decisive breakthrough in a 22-year chess…
News
Twenty-one years after his overthrow and flight to Senegal, the former Chadian dictator Hissène Habré may finally face trial for brutality against his own people. On Tuesday, July 24, four days after the world court in The Hague ruled that Senegal must…
News
Joseph Kony, Thomas Lubanga and Charles Taylor are just the tip of the iceberg. The use of children as soldiers extends far beyond Africa. Last week in The Hague, the International Criminal Court, or ICC, found the Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga guilty…
News
On December 1, 1990, I walked out of prison and into the glaring sun of N'Djamena, Chad's capital. I was a free man but looked more like a skeleton after nearly three years in the jails of dictator Hissène Habré. I had seen hundreds of my fellow inmates…
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For the two decades that he has been free, Souleymane Guengueng has constantly relived the two years he spent in a Chadian prison, where he watched hundreds of cellmates die from torture and disease. Thrown in jail in 1988 for still-unknown reasons…
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Respect for the rule of law is one of the founding principles of the African Union (AU). It should therefore come as no surprise that African states make up the largest regional membership bloc of the International Criminal Court (ICC), whose mission is…
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Bringing their tormentors to book is an important way for victims to recover their dignity

John Laughland suggests that human rights organisations, including Human Rights Watch, are more concerned about the conviction of former heads of state than about them getting fair trials. Nothing could be further from the truth. (Fujimori's trial could…
News
(New York) - During his first few weeks as UN secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon seems to have had a hard time treading the line between his diplomat's desire to be Mr. Nice, and the requirements of a job in which speaking truth to power is essential. Ban's…