Amnesty International has urged the Senegalese authorities not to return former Chadian president Hissène Habré to Chad where he has been sentenced to death in absentia.
Senegalese officials have said the former Chadian leader will be returned on 11 July. He was sentenced to death in his absence in August 2008 for allegedly “undermining the constitutional order, the integrity and security of the State”.
“The Senegalese authorities must not send Hissène Habré back to Chad where he faces the death penalty, the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment, and where he will not receive a fair trial,” said Erwin van der Borght, Africa Director at Amnesty International.
More than ten years after a complaint was lodged against the former Chadian president, who fled to Senegal after being forced from power in 1990, no judicial proceedings have yet begun. The Senegalese government has consistently avoided bringing Hissène Habré to justice.
Despite Senegal’s legal obligations and repeated calls by the African Union, the Senegalese authorities have not tried him on charges that he ordered the killing and torture of his opponents.
“For years, the Senegalese authorities avoided putting Hissène Habré on trial despite their international obligations to do so. Instead, they are planning to sent him back to Chad where he faces the death penalty and an unfair trial, a move that will not bring real justice to the thousands who suffered human rights violations during his rule,” said Erwin van der Borght.