Senegal: Hissène Habré returns to prison

Coronavirus forces, Senegal has taken sanitary measures to prevent mass contamination in its prisons. It is in this context that the former Chadian president Hissène Habré (1982-1990), sentenced to life imprisonment by an African court in Dakar for crimes against humanity, was authorized to leave prison on April 7 for a period 60 days. A time he spent under prison supervision between the homes of his two wives, also installed in the Senegalese capital.

This much-contested authorization expired on Saturday June 6. “The Hissène Habré case is currently under investigation before the judge responsible for the execution of sentences. He will have to return to prison tomorrow (Sunday), as had been indicated, “said Senegalese Justice Minister Malick Sall on Saturday evening. The 77-year-old ex-dictator therefore returned well around 6 p.m. local time on Sunday evening to the Cape Manuel remand center where he is serving his sentence.

Read also Covid-19: Hissène Habré provisionally released

Provisional sentence adjustment

” It is totally true. The 60-day leave of absence ended this Saturday. A few days ago, a process of renewing this permission was undertaken by our lawyers with the judges responsible for the enforcement of sentences, ”his wife, Fatima Raymonde Habré, confirmed to the press.

According to her, the justice responded Friday and rejected the request by posing two conditions.

“First, she said that President Hissène Habré must return to the prison before asking for a renewal of another permission. Second, he could only do it after a month in prison. In other words, we would have to wait until July 6 to make a request again, “she added, while denouncing” risks even more serious for her health than at the start of the leave “, at a time when Senegal has more than 4,328 cases of Covid-19, including 49 deaths.

The victims’ collective worried

The victims’ associations had said they feared a “disguised release” of the ousted Chadian president in favor of this “humanitarian and precautionary measure”, according to the Senegalese authorities.

The sentencing judge had motivated his decision by the fact that Hissène Habré was “particularly vulnerable to this coronavirus” and the need to make room in his prison, chosen to quarantine prisoners at the start of detention. Hissène Habré was undergoing medical treatment since the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in Senegal, had pleaded his lawyer.

On May 30, 2016, Habré was sentenced, by the Extraordinary African Chambers established by the African Union, to life imprisonment for crimes against humanity, war crimes and torture, in particular for acts of sexual violence and rape. In addition, it must allocate an amount of 82 billion CFA francs to 7,396 identified victims. He was sentenced on appeal in 2017 to life imprisonment in Dakar (by the Extraordinary African Chambers) for war crimes and crimes against humanity during his regime, in Chad, between 1982 and 1990. “The victims of former Chadian dictator Hissène Habré still waiting to receive a start of compensation, four years after his historic conviction in Senegal, “recalled on May 29 the Collective of victims of the ex-strong man of N’Djamena represented by Reed Brody, lawyer for the NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW).

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