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Special Criminal Court Charges Sanctioned Commander

(Bangui) – The Special Criminal Court (SCC) in the Central African Republic, in an important step for justice, has brought charges against Capt. Eugène Ngaïkosset, known within the country as “The Butcher of Paoua,” Human Rights Watch said. His…
Special Prosecutor Toussaint Muntazini (right) and five other judges of Central African Republic’s Special Criminal Court (SCC) sit at the National Assembly in Bangui, having been sworn in on June 30, 2017.
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Habré was Convicted in Historic Trial in Senegal

Former Chadian dictator Hissène Habré died of Covid-19 on August 24 in Dakar, Senegal’s capital, where he was serving a life sentence for serious international crimes. He was held accountable following a landmark effort to ensure justice for his role…
A man in a white hat surrounded by soldiers
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Investigate, End Excessive Force Against Protesters

(Nairobi) – Security forces in Chad have used excessive force, including indiscriminate live ammunition, to disperse opposition-led demonstrations across the country in the aftermath of the April 11 election, Human Rights Watch said today. During…
Protesters burning car tires in the streets of Chad’s capital N’Djamena on April 27, 2021
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Submission to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Human Rights Watch welcomes the opportunity to provide input to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities for his thematic report to the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly regarding the rights of persons with…
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5 Years on, No Action on Court Orders in Hissène Habré Case

(Nairobi) – Victims of the former dictator of Chad, Hissène Habré, have not received a cent of reparations ordered by the African Union-backed Extraordinary African Chambers in Senegal in 2016, five organizations including Human Rights Watch said…
Supporters of Habre's victims, Dakar, 2015.
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Potential Complicity in Unlawful Detention of ISIS Suspects, Children

Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden should promptly repatriate their nationals unlawfully held in life-threatening conditions in northeast Syria, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to the four governments today.…
Children fly a kite at al-Hol camp in northeast Syria. 
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Five Years After Chadian Dictator’s Guilty Verdict, Victims Still Await Justice

Five years ago, on May 30, 2016, an African Union-backed court in Dakar, Senegal, convicted former Chadian dictator Hissène Habré of crimes against humanity, war crimes, and torture, including sexual violence and rape. The court sentenced him to life…
Victims of former Chad dictator Hissène Habré demonstrate reparations
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President’s Death Leaves Chad with an Uncertain Future

I met Chadian president Idriss Déby, who was killed this week, several times. For 30 years, the United States and France backed this authoritarian, corrupt, often brutal ruler in the name of the same regional stability that once caused them to back…
Former Chadian President Idriss Deby is pictured in a May 29, 2015 file photo.
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AU Should Deploy Crisis Team to Ensure Civilian Protection, Rule of Law

(Nairobi) – Chad's transitional military council should scrupulously respect human rights and the rule of law, ensuring that civilians are protected and avoid any escalation of abuses against civilians, Human Rights Watch said today. The military…
Recently deceased Chadian President Idriss Déby Itno seen here addressing the Climate Action Summit at the United Nations General Assembly, at UN headquarters on Monday, Sept. 23, 2019  
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Other 3R Commanders Should be Held Accountable for Crimes

The death of one of the most brutal warlords in the Central African Republic was confirmed earlier this month. Sidiki Abbas, the president and founder of Return, Reclamation, Rehabilitation, or 3R, leaves a legacy of ruthless violence and abuse in the…
Sidiki Abass (also known as Bi Sidi Souleymane), commander of a group called Return, Reclamation, Rehabilitation, or 3R, at the peace deal signing ceremony in Bangui, Central African Republic, on February 6, 2019.
News

Submission to the UN Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons

This submission is based on Human Rights Watch research on human rights issues impacting older women,[1] including domestic violence, abuse, and neglect in residential institutions for older people, abuses during armed conflict, and health disparities…
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End Ill-treatment, Beatings; Respect Right of Assembly; Investigate Abuses

(Nairobi) – Chad’s security forces have ruthlessly cracked down on protesters and the political opposition in the lead-up to the country’s April 11, 2021 presidential election, harming Chadians’ right to freely choose their elected representatives,…
People in the streets of N'Djamena, Chad’s capital, protest against President Idriss Déby Itno running for a sixth term in the April 11, 2021 election.
News

Milestone for Justice for Victims of Conflict Since 2012

Update: On February 8, 2021, the International Criminal Court announced that it had postponed the start of the trial to February 16. Human Rights Watch will send an update on February 15 to confirm that date. Correction: This news release has been…
Alfred Yékatom, left, and Patrice-Edouard Ngaïssona, right, taken on Nov. 23, 2018 and Jan. 25, 2019 respectively when they appeared before the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, Netherlands.
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What is the background in the Central African Republic to these cases?   How did the ICC become involved in the Central African Republic? Who are Alfred Yékatom and Patrice-Edouard Ngaïssona? When did Yékatom and Ngaïssona first face…
Alfred Yékatom, left, and Patrice-Edouard Ngaïssona, right, taken on Nov. 23, 2018 and Jan. 25, 2019 respectively when they appeared before the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, Netherlands.
News

Verdict in Dominic Ongwen Case Set for February 4

(The Hague) – The International Criminal Court’s trial of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) leader Dominic Ongwen, in which a verdict is due on February 4, 2021, has been a significant step toward justice for atrocities committed by the group in…
Dominic Ongwen, a Ugandan commander in the Lord’s Resistance Army, waits for the judge to arrive as he made his first appearance at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, Monday, Jan. 26, 2015.
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Who is Dominic Ongwen? What is the Lord’s Resistance Army? How did the ICC come to bring charges against Ongwen? What are the charges against Ongwen? How does Ongwen’s experience as a child soldier affect judicial proceedings against…
Dominic Ongwen, a Ugandan commander in the Lord’s Resistance Army, waits for the judge to arrive as he made his first appearance at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, Monday, Jan. 26, 2015.
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4 Years After Hissène Habré’s Conviction, African Union Fails to Put in Place Victims’ Fund

(Addis Ababa) – The African Union has yet to set up a Trust Fund to compensate victims of the former Chadian president Hissène Habré, four years after his historic conviction in Senegal, a coalition of international and regional human rights…
Supporters of Habre's victims, Dakar, 2015.
News

Important Step Needs Follow-Up with Higher Level Suspects

The surrender by Central African Republic authorities of the first Seleka-rebel suspect to face charges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) is an important step toward justice for serious crimes committed by the two main warring factions in the…
ICC permanent premises
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Governments Should Include Sex Workers in Public Health and Financial Support Responses

Norwegian police have arrested sex workers over accusations that they violated quarantine restrictions. Although not accused of any crime, the workers, from other European countries, face detention and expulsion from Norway. Media reports suggest some…
People demonstrate in support of sex workers, April 14, 2018. 
News

Government, UN Should Protect Civilians; Advance Accountability

(Nairobi) – A new rebel coalition in the Central African Republic has created havoc in the run-up to the country’s legislative and presidential elections, scheduled for December 27, 2020, Human Rights Watch said today. The new coalition is…
Presidential guards stand guard in Bangui, on December 12, 2020, during the opening campaign rally for incumbent president Faustin-Archange Touadéra, seen in the poster, a candidate in the December 2020 elections.