Habré’s release a sledgehammer blow to the head - victims

APA-N'Djamena (Chad)

News of the temporary release of former Chadian president Hissène Habré by the Senegalese justice system over Covid-19 fears was on Tuesday very badly received in N’Djamena by victims of his regime (1982-1990).

By Adam Hassane Deyé 

The president of the Association of Victims of Pepression and Political Crimes under Habré, Clément Abaïfouta told APA the release was “a sledgehammer blow to the head.”

 Abaifouta regretted that the coronavirus pandemic is overshadowing such an issue. 

“But Hissène Habré was a coronavirus for Chad, a coronavirus for the victims. I can’t understand why Hissène Habré is being released because he is alone in his cell, he has weekly visits from senior doctors and professors who take care of him. I agree today with his wife who says that her husband is sick and needs to be treated, that he needs to be evacuated,” he emphasised.

Abaïfouta does not understand that “someone who has left mass graves, who has left a thousand orphans, victims who are waiting to be rehabilitated, who are not compensated. And it is this guy, who must die because of coronavirus, who is being released? I do not even think this is humanitarian. Was Hissène Habré a humanitarian? This is ridiculous for the memory of the victims”. 

 Even if he can’t do anything immediately, Abaïfouta plans to write to whomever he can, including the African Union and the United Nations to protest.

 “Chad is a member of all these organisations and the victims have also filed a complaint with the African Court of Human Rights for compensation following the trial organised by N’Djamena against former DDS agents and accomplices of Hissène Habré. We are going to write to these organisations to make the logic of the law heard,” he vowed.

Former Chadian president Habré was tried in Dakar, Senegal, in 2015 by the Extraordinary African Chambers. 

He was sentenced to life imprisonment for crimes against humanity. 

His regime was accused of killing 40,000 people through its secret police called the Documentation and Security Directorate (DDS).



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