Trial date for Chadian ex-dictator Habré finally set
After decades of appeals from victims, former Chadian dictator Hissène Habré will finally go on trial. On 20 July in Dakar, before the Extraordinary African Chambers (EAC) criminal trial court, he will face charges of crimes against humanity, torture and war crimes committed in Chad between 1982 and 1990.
In March, when the verdict was announced in the first-ever Chadian trial against Habré's henchmen, victims expressed relief [IJT-178]. But for many, the next crucial step in justice is the trial of the ex-president himself, the man who put in place the feared political police: the Directorate of Documentation and Security (DDS), which imprisoned and tortured countless political opponents.
For Jacqueline Moudeina, the lawyer who first launched the Habré case in 2000, “the miracle is finally becoming a reality”. As she told journalists when the trial date was announced: “We fought all these years, and we won.”
In a statement, Human Rights Watch counsel Reed Brody said: “It took 24 years, but justice has finally caught up with Hissène Habré. This case warns despots everywhere that they will never be out of the reach of their victims.”