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Sat Jul 18, 2015, 08:00 PM

Torture survivors of Chad's ex-dictator Hissene Habré hope for justice as trial begins

Source: Fox News

The bodies came daily. Sometimes 10, sometimes 20 lives lost to torture, malnutrition or sickness in prison in Chad, say survivors. Clement Abaifouta, a prisoner himself, had to wrap them in sacks and bury them.

Abaifouta wants justice, like thousands of other political prisoners who were victims of torture during Chadian ex-dictator Hissene Habré's rule from 1982-1990. On Monday Habré will go on trial in Senegal, fulfilling the work of many who say they suffered abuse under his rule and setting a bold precedent for justice in Africa.

For more than a decade after his overthrow Habré lived freely in Senegal. His easy exile was a symbol of impunity in Africa until his he was taken into custody and charged in 2013. Now his trial is a warning to other African dictators that they may be held accountable in Africa for their actions, say human rights experts.

Habré will be tried by the Senegalese courts' Extraordinary African Chambers. It is the first trial in Africa of a universal jurisdiction case, in which a country's national courts can prosecute the most serious crimes committed abroad, by a foreigner and against foreign victims, said Human Rights Watch. It is also the first time the courts of one country are prosecuting the former ruler of another for alleged human rights crimes, it said.

"It shows that you can actually achieve justice here in Africa," said Human Rights Watch counsel Reed Brody who has been working on the case against Habré since 1999.

Habré's government was responsible for an estimated 40,000 deaths, according to report published in May 1992 by a 10-member Chadian truth commission formed by Chad's current President Idriss Deby. The commission particularly blamed Habré's political police force, the Directorate of Documentation and Security, saying it used torture methods including whipping, beating, burning and the extraction of fingernails.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2015/07/18/torture-survivors-chad-ex-dictator-hissene-habre-hope-for-justice-as-trial/

It's worth noting as well that Habré was installed by the Reagan administration, and arguably remained his favorite African dictator throughout the rest of his presidency - so much so that Human Rights Watch referred to the brutal and larcenous Habré as "Africa's Pinochet."

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Reply Torture survivors of Chad's ex-dictator Hissene Habré hope for justice as trial begins (Original post)
forest444 Jul 2015 OP
Liberal_in_LA Jul 2015 #1

Response to forest444 (Original post)

Sat Jul 18, 2015, 11:16 PM

1. I hope they get justice


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