1. Home
  2. Africa
  3. West Africa
  4. Senegal

Case against Hissene Habre dismissed

Human rights groups have vowed to appeal against the dismissal on Tuesday of torture charges against former Chadian President Hissene Habre, who lives in exile in Dakar, PANA reported.

The three-judge Indicting Chamber ruled that Senegal had no jurisdiction to pursue charges that Habre tortured hundreds of people during his 1982-1990 rule because the crimes were not committed in Senegal.

However, rights organisations said Senegal was obliged, under the 1984 United Nations Convention against Torture which Dakar ratified in 1986, to prosecute alleged torturers who enter its territory.

“This is the most important human rights case in Senegal’s history and we are behaving like a banana republic,” PANA quoted Alioune Tine of the Dakar-based African Assembly for the Defence of Human Rights (RADDHO) as saying.

Tine said the lawyers who represented torture victims and human rights groups in the case would appeal to the Supreme Court. “We will wage a wide campaign within and outside the country to ensure that justice is done,” he said.

The case was dismissed a day after it was announced that the Superior Council of the Magistracy (Conseil supérieur de la magistrature), had removed Judge Demba Kandji, who indicted Habre in February, from his post as investigating judge.


This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

Share this article
Join the discussion

It was The New Humanitarian’s investigation with the Thomson Reuters Foundation that uncovered sexual abuse by aid workers during the Ebola response in the Democratic Republic of Congo and led the World Health Organization to launch an independent review and reform its practices.

This demonstrates the important impact that our journalism can have. 

But this won’t be the last case of aid worker sex abuse. This also won’t be the last time the aid sector has to ask itself difficult questions about why justice for victims of sexual abuse and exploitation has been sorely lacking. 

We’re already working on our next investigation, but reporting like this takes months, sometimes years, and can’t be done alone.

The support of our readers and donors helps keep our journalism free and accessible for all. Donations mean we can keep holding power in the aid sector accountable, and shine a light on similar abuses. 

Become a member today and support independent journalism

Become a member of The New Humanitarian

Support our journalism and become more involved in our community. Help us deliver informative, accessible, independent journalism that you can trust and provides accountability to the millions of people affected by crises worldwide.

Join