Wednesday, July 10, 2013

U.S. backed Chadian dictator Hissène Habré faces war crimes trial in historic win for his victims

Known as "Africa’s Pinochet," the former dictator of Chad, Hissène Habré, has been detained in Senegal. Habré is expected to face charges of crimes against humanity and war crimes for systematic torture and the killings of tens of thousands of opponents during his eight years in power in the 1980s. If the case proceeds, he will eventually stand trial in a special court established in Senegal after a 22-year campaign led by his victims. Habré would be the first African leader to be tried for atrocities in Africa instead of in an international tribunal. We discuss the case with attorney Reed Brody of Human Rights Watch, who has worked with victims of Habré’s regime since 1999. Brody discusses Habré’s arrest in the context of the recent prosecution of two other U.S.-backed dictators: Jean-Claude Duvalier of Haiti and Efraín Ríos Montt in Guatemala.

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