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The Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago, close to Nicolás Maduro, is separating families.

Trinidad and Tobago’s treatment of Venezuelan migrants and refugees and its deportations of Venezuelans, including children and asylum seekers, are not only egregious rights violations but also a sad reminder of its unswerving allegiance to the…
Relatives and friends of Venezuelan migrants who died when a boat transporting them to Trinidad and Tobago sank, wait for news of the recovery of their bodies, in Güiria, Venezuela, on December 18, 2020.
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A new treaty to deepen the link between environmental protection and human rights in Latin America and the Caribbean has the potential to reduce the conflicts that lead to the murders of so many environmental defenders in the region.  The…
Bernardo, a man in his 30s, was born in a quilombo (Afro-Brazilian) community of around 60, men, women, and children in Minas Gerais State, southeast Brazil. Bernardo told Human Rights Watch that he feels powerless against aerial spraying of pesticides. “
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  In January, a colleague of mine at Human Rights Watch predicted that 2018 would be the “year of the courts” for LGBT people’s rights. Seven months into the year, courts around the world have indeed come down with important rulings that…
The Indian Supreme Court building in New Delhi, India.
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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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(N’Djaména, Chad) – Sitting cross-legged on a mat in her modest home in the capital of Chad, as a fan whirled noisily to stave off the 105 degree heat, Khadidja Hassan Zidane described what it was like finally to testify in court against the man who raped…
Khadidja Hassan Zidane testifies during the trial of the former dictator of Chad Hissène Habré in Senegal on October 19 and 20, 2015
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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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Khadidja told me she had been repeatedly tortured, and imprisoned in Hissène Habré’s presidential palace in N’Djamena. She had promised me that the day she came face-to-face with the former president, whose brutal rule in Chad…
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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-…
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“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…
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2013 brought many grim setbacks, yet there were still some important signs of progress

With the slaughter of civilians in Syria still horribly unrestrained, it is easy to be discouraged about human rights. There is, of course, every reason for outrage about Syria, and about the international community's narrow focus on peace talks, unlikely…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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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…