Ex-President Gets Life Prison Sentence

Ex-President Gets Life Prison Sentence
Published: 2016 May 31 04:41:14 (1456 Views)
DAKAR. — Former Chad president Hissene Habre, a Cold War ally of the West, was convicted yesterday of war crimes and crimes against humanity for ordering the killing and torture of thousands of political opponents during his eight-year rule.

The verdict capped a 16-year battle by victims and rights campaigners to bring the former strongman to justice in Senegal, where he fled after being toppled in a 1990 coup in his central African nation.

Habre (73), was sentenced to life in prison by the Special African Chamber (CAE), a tribunal created in 2013 by Senegal and the African Union. He was also convicted of rape. Dressed in white robes with dark sunglasses and a head scarf covering most of his face, Habre was defiant after his conviction and sentence were announced, raising his arms and shouting to his supporters as he was led from the courtroom.

Many, including some of his victims present in the courtroom, cheered in celebration.

“After years of struggle and many setbacks on the way to justice, this verdict is as historic as it was hard-won,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein.

“In a world scarred by a constant stream of atrocities, the ramifications of this verdict are global.”

Habre has refused to recognise the CAE trying him in Senegal and at times had to be forced to appear in court, delaying proceedings.

The tribunal is supported by the African Union, but is part of Senegal’s justice system, making it the first time in modern history that one country’s domestic courts have prosecuted the former leader of another country on rights charges. Other such cases have been tried by international tribunals. — Reuters.



- Herald
Tags: Chad, president, trial, ,
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