News / Africa

Lawyers: Ex-Chad Dictator Rejects Senegalese Genocide Court

Former Chad President Hissene Habre (R) raises his fist in the air as he leaves a court in Dakar escorted by a Senegalese policeman, November 2005.
Former Chad President Hissene Habre (R) raises his fist in the air as he leaves a court in Dakar escorted by a Senegalese policeman, November 2005.
VOA News
Lawyers for former Chadian ruler Hissene Habre say their client will not recognize a tribunal set up in Senegal to try him on genocide charges stemming from his eight-year reign, which ended more than two decades ago.

Habre, who ruled Chad from 1982 until the military ousted him in 1990, is accused of overseeing more than 40,000 political killings, as well as systematic torture and other human rights violations.

The 80-year-old Habre was taken into custody Sunday at his home in the Senegalese capital, Dakar, where he has lived freely since his ouster.

Defense lawyer El Hadji Diouf said Wednesday that actions taken by Senegal to establish the special tribunal had no legal basis and were part of "a deliberate effort" to imprison Habre, regardless of the evidence.

Habre was indicted in 2000 for crimes against humanity, but little progress was made in prosecuting him during the rule of Senegal's former president Abdoulaye Wade, who left office in 2012.

Late last year, Senegal's parliament ratified an agreement with the African Union to create the special tribunal. The court became operational in February and is now conducting a pretrial investigation.

Human Rights Watch says the investigation is expected to last 15 months, and likely will be followed by a months-long trial.

Earlier this week, HRW lawyer Reed Brody described the charges against Habre and his arrest as a "stunning victory" for Habre's victims, who he said never gave up hope they would one day see justice.

The Habre arrest came just days after visiting U.S. President Barack Obama met with regional judicial leaders in Dakar to discuss how the United States could help African nations in building "stronger judiciaries and systems of law."

You May Like

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid