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Rights coalition asks African Union to compel trial of former Chad president

[JURIST] The Campaign Against Impunity [advocacy website], a group of 300 African and international civil society bodies, has urged the African Union Assembly [official website] to call on Senegal to try former Chad President Hissene Habre [HRW backgrounder; JURIST news archive], Human Rights Watch [advocacy website] said Thursday. The AU will meet in Gambia on July 1 to review a confidential report by an AU committee and discuss possible forums for the Habre trial. The Campaign Against Impunity wants the AU to force Senegal to begin Habre's trial or extradite him to Belgium, where he has been indicted for crimes against humanity [JURIST report]. In May, the UN Committee against Torture [official website] gave Senegal 90 days to fulfill its obligations under the Convention Against Torture [text] to put Habre on trial for torture crimes and rights offenses stemming from his 1982-90 rule in Chad or extradite him to Belgium.

Habre has been living in exile in Senegal since 1990 and in 2005 Belgium issued an international arrest warrant on torture and murder charges. Read the HRW press release. Reuters has more.

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