[QODLink]
Africa

Ex-Chad leader arrested in Senegal

Hissene Habre to be tried in special court over alleged political killings and torture during his 1982-1990 rule.

Last Modified: 01 Jul 2013 07:25
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Human rights groups have welcomed Hissene Habre's arrest [AFP]

Hissene Habre, the former ruler of Chad, has been arrested in Senegal ahead of his trial there over alleged political killngs and torture during his time in power.

Habre has been living in exile in Senegal for the last 22 years.

Habre, who led Chad between 1982 and 1990, will be tried in a special court set up this year by Senegalese authorities in agreement with the African Union.

The case against Habre follows years of procrastinating by Senegal under former president Abdoulaye Wade. It will be first time the former leader of an African state has been tried by another.

"He was arrested this morning and placed in police custody after a request by the prosecutor," said Marcel Mendy, the court's spokesman on Sunday.

Mendy did not give any further details on the arrest. Habre is not actually expected to appear at the court before early 2015 as investigations by the court's prosecutors are ongoing.

Local media published photos of Habre, in traditional white flowing robes, being led away by security forces from his mansion in the capital, Dakar.

Habre's lawyers called the arrest a "kidnapping" and demanded his immediate release.

But rights groups welcomed the move.

"The wheels of justice are turning", said Reed Brody, counsel for Human Rights Watch who has worked with Habre's victims since 1999. "After 22 years, Habre's victims can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel."

Visiting Senegal on Thursday, US President Barack Obama highlighted Senegal as an example in Africa for the independence of its judiciary.

259

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Mother of jailed Al Jazeera journalist Abdullah Elshamy says her son's ordeal highlights the value of press freedom.
French Jews and Muslims say recent National Front victories in mayoral races reflect rising xenophobia.
Western fighters have streamed into the Middle East to help 'liberate' Arab countries such as Syria and Libya.
The Pakistani government is proposing reform of the nation's madrassas, which are accused of fostering terrorism.
Featured
Survivors of Bangladesh garment factory collapse say they received little compensation and face economic hardship.
As Iraq prepares to vote, deadly violence is surging. But at the site of one bomb attack, people insist life must go on.
French Jews and Muslims say recent National Front victories in mayoral races reflect rising xenophobia.
Up to 23,000 federal prisoners could qualify for clemency under new Justice Department initiative.
After years of rapid growth, Argentina is bracing for another economic crisis as inflation eats up purchasing power.
join our mailing list