War Crimes: Chad’s Ex-ruler Hissene Habre Gets Life Sentence

habreChad’s ex-ruler, Hissene Habre, has been convicted of crimes against humanity and sentenced to life in prison at a landmark trial in Senegal.

He was convicted of rape, sexual slavery and ordering killings during his rule from 1982 to 1990.

Victims and families of those killed cheered and embraced each other in the courtroom after the verdict was given.

It was the first time an African Union-backed court had tried a former ruler for human rights abuses.

Habre, who received strong backing from the U.S. while in power, has been given 15 days to appeal.

Survivors from the Habre era welcomed the verdict.

“This is a historic day for Chad and for Africa. It is the first time that an African head of state has been found guilty in another African country,” Yamasoum Konar, a representative of one of the victims’ groups, told the BBC.

“This will be a lesson to other dictators in Africa,” he added.

After he was sentenced, Habre remained defiant, raising his arms and shouting to his supporters, as he was led from the courtroom.

“Down with c!” he shouted, using a term which is critical of France’s influence in its former colonies.

Throughout the nine-month trial, he refused to recognise the court’s legitimacy, frequently disrupting proceedings.

The ex-president denied accusations that he ordered the killing of 40,000 people during his rule from 1982 to 1990.

Alleged War Crimes: Court Due To Rule On Hissene Habre’s Trial

Hissene Habre, War CrimesA court in Senegal is due to give judgement on the alleged war crimes trial of Chad’s former President, Hissene Habre.

This will be the first time an African Union-backed court has tried a former ruler for alleged human rights abuses.

The prosecutor at the court in Dakar, Senegal’s capital requested a life sentence for Mr Habre, who refused to recognise the court’s validity.

BBC says Habre had repeatedly disrupted proceedings during his trial, shouting abuse and calling the process “a farce”.

He was being carried into the court by security guards after refusing to appear.

The former Chadian leader was accused of ordering the killing of 40,000 people during his rule in the 1980s, charges he denied.

Ex-Chad President Hissene Habre To Face Trial In Senegal

habreFormer Chadian President, Hissene Habre, will face trial in Senegal for alleged war crimes, torture and crimes against humanity.

Judges at the Extraordinary African Chamber said that there is sufficient evidence against Mr Habre, who is in custody in Senegal.

The court was set up by Senegal and the African Union to try Mr Habre after his arrest in 2013. His trial will mean the first use of universal jurisdiction in Africa.

72-year-old Habre is accused of thousands of political killings during his 1982-1990 presidency, which ended when he was deposed by the current Chadian President, Idriss Deby.

He denies the charges and has refused to recognize the legitimacy of the court.

A political prisoner during Mr Habre’s rule, Clement Abaifouta, said, “We are finally going to be able to confront our main tormentor and regain our dignity as human beings.”

The decision to try Habre was made by a panel of four judges who carried out 19 months of investigation, including in Chad, interviewing about 2,500 witnesses and victims, according to Human Rights Watch.

Habre doesn’t recognize the legitimacy of the court and refused to participate in the proceedings, Human Rights Watch said.

HRW lawyer, Reed Brody, said, “A fair and transparent trial for Hissene Habre would now demonstrate that courts in Africa can be empowered to provide justice for African victims of crimes committed in Africa.”