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HRW urges speedy Habre trial

[JURIST] Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] urged Senegal to accelerate the process of bringing former Chadian dictator Hissene Habre [HRW materials; JURIST news archive] to justice in a briefing paper [HRW backgrounder] released Thursday. Following a recommendation [JURIST report] from the July 2006 African Union assembly [official website], Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade [official profile, in French; BBC profile] agreed that Habre should be tried in Senegal, but Senegal has yet to legalize such a trial, nor has it proposed a budget securing the international aid that will be required to fund the probably complex and expensive proceedings.

Habre was the dictator of Chad from 1982 until 1990 when he was deposed and fled to Senegal. He is accused of committing widespread atrocities during his reign. In 2000, he was indicted in Senegal, but it was determined he could not be tried in Senegalese courts. In 2005, families of his victims won an international arrest warrant [JURIST report] in Belgium that resulted in Habre's arrest. Before extradition, the African Union made its recommendation for the trial to take place in Senegal. Reuters has more.

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