Senegal police arrest former Chad dictator

Senegalese police on June 30 detained former Chadian dictator Hissene Habre. Habre has been under house arrest in Senegal since 2005. Senegal and the African Union signed an agreement in December to set up the Extraordinary African Chambers to try Habre for crimes against humanity, war crimes and torture during his time in power between 1982 and 1990, in which rights groups report that some 40,000 people were killed. Habre's lawyer said that Habre was taken from his home in Dakar to an unknown location in preparation for his trial.

From Jurist, July 1. Used with permission.


  1. Former Chad dictator charged with war crimes

    Chad's ex-President Hissene Habre was charged by Senegalese prosecutors on July 1 with war crimes, torture and crimes against humanity. Habre will appear before the Extraordinary African Chambers, a special court set up in Senegal to investigate the allegations against him, and he could face life in prison if convicted. Known as "Africa's Pinochet," the former Chadian dictator must answer claims that members of his tightly managed Secret Service tortured and killed up to 40,000 people during his reign from 1982-90. If brought to trial, Habre would be the first African leader to face charges of crimes against humanity in a fellow African country.

    From Jurist, July 3. Used with permission.

  2. Victims of former Chad dictator seek to participate in trial
    More than 1,000 victims of former Chad dictator Hissene Habre filed for civil party status on July 18, asking the Extraordinary African Chambers of Senegal to offcially recognize them as parties with an interest in the matter. Led by Jacqueline Moudeina, a human rights litigator, nearly 300 applicants claim to be direct victims of Habre, while hundreds more are applying for status based on the rights of deceased family members. Five of the applicants described the ordeals they endured to the court in Senegal, and requested that the court establish a benefit fund for survivors. Habre’s counsel responded by accusing the opposition of making a move for sympathy to bias the court, noting that the organizations acting on behalf of the victims receive gratuitous funding from the same political parties that removed Habre from office. The court has not yet indicated how it will respond to the large number of applications.

    From Jurist, July 19. Used with permission.