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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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RE: Challenges to Implementation of GCM Objectives #4, 10, 13, 15, 17, 21 in Cameroon, Mauritania, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, and Tanzania, December 2018 – June 2021

Contents: I. Introduction II. Human trafficking (Nigeria, Senegal) III. Migrant detention (Mauritania, South Africa) IV. Migrant returns (Cameroon, Mauritania, Tanzania) V. Discrimination, xenophobia, access to services and documentation (South…
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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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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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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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Human Rights Watch Introduces Country Index Based on Laws, Policies

(Beirut) – Governments in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) should outlaw the violent discipline of children, Human Rights Watch said today, introducing an index categorizing countries in the region based on their laws and policies. The MENA…
2020 Dadu Shin for Human Rights Watch
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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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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.
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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.
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Bill Falls Short of International Standards

(Beirut) – Mauritania’s parliament should revise a draft law on associations it is due to confirm during its current session to ensure that it meets international standards on freedom of association, Human Rights Watch said today. The law as drafted…
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Detained for 8 Months, Facing Possible Death Sentences

Update: The Nouakchott West Criminal Court on October 20, 2020, found all five detained men guilty of “violating the sanctity of God” based on Article 306 of Mauritania’s Penal Code and sentenced them to between six and eight month prison terms, and…
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Celebrate Year in Office with Pledge to End Repressive Laws, Protect Women’s Rights

Mauritania’s President Mohamed Ould Ghezouani should lead a process to reform repressive laws that muzzle speech and act decisively to advance women’s rights as he marks his first year in office on August 1, 2020, Human Rights Watch said today.…
President Mohamed Ould Ghezouani of Mauritania
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Four Years After Hissène Habré’s Conviction, African Union and Chad Fail Victims

(Dakar) – The victims of the former Chadian dictator Hissène Habré have yet to receive any reparations four years after his historic atrocity conviction in Senegal, human rights advocates said today. On May 30, 2016, Habré was convicted of…
Habre's victims, their lawyers and supporters demonstrate for reparations
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Prosecutor Accused Them of “Imitating Women”

Update: On March 4, 2020, the Court of Appeal in Nouakchott confirmed the conviction of the eight defendants but reduced their original sentences to six months in prison, suspended for seven of the defendants. The court sentenced the eighth…
View of Mauritania's capital city, Nouakchott.
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Opportunity to Change Course on Rights

(Beirut) – Mauritania’s first presidential transition in a decade has raised hope that the new head of state, Mohamed Ould Ghazouani, will ensure human rights protections for all Mauritanians, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2020…
Students protesting against a discriminatory government decision limiting enrollment in public university to 24 years, hold up signs that say “education is a right for all.”
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Discriminatory Rule Sparked Ongoing Protests

  (Beirut) – The government of Mauritania on November 6, 2019 retracted a discriminatory regulation limiting college enrollment that had led to weeks of protests, Human Rights Watch said today. The 2018 rule limited…
Students protesting against a discriminatory government decision limiting enrollment in public university to 24 years, hold up signs that say “education is a right for all.”
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African Commission Should Press for Habré-Era Reparations

(Nairobi) – The Chadian government has yet to provide reparations ordered by a court in 2015 to 7,000 victims of grave crimes under the rule of former dictator Hissène Habré, four human rights groups said today. The African…
Families of Habré's victims demonstrate in Ndjaména, 2005.