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News > Senegal

Senegal: Justice Denies Ex-Dictator Habre's Release From Prison

  • Chad's former President Hissene Habre (C).

    Chad's former President Hissene Habre (C). | Photo: Twitter/ @ADFmagazine

Published 19 April 2021

Some 40,000 political assassinations and over 200,000 cases of torture were recorded during his government (1982 -1990) in Chad.

The Dakar High Court denied the request for the release of former Chadian dictator Hissene Habre, who has been seeking release from prison for the past six months on health grounds.


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"The judge insisted on highlighting the unfavorable opinion of the prison advisory commission chaired by himself and composed of the director of the penitentiary administration, the prison director, and other members of the prison and health staff," his lawyers said.

On March 29, they filed the request for release arguing that Habre had colds, flu, and angina due to the cold and humidity in Dakar's Cap Manuel prison.

In April 2020, Habre was released for 60 days as part of measures taken by the Senegalese government to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in prisons.

"This is not a release, but a release with surveillance," Senegal's Directorate of Penitentiary Administrations explained at the time, which considered that Habre, a 78-year-old man, was exposed "to a very significant risk of contagion by COVID-19 because of the flow of new arrivals in the prison."

Habre was sentenced in May 2016 by the Court of Appeal of the Extraordinary African Chambers (CAE) to life imprisonment for crimes against humanity. Some 40,000 political assassinations and more than 200,000 cases of torture were recorded during his tenure.

He served as president of Chad from 1982 to 1990, when he was overthrown by the current president Idris Deby Itno, who came to power at the head of an armed rebellion. While in power, however, Habre's regime was supported by France and the United States, which provided it with training, arms, and financing. He was arrested on June 30, 2013.


Hissene Habre
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