From: GOMES Ana Maria
Sent: 08 April 2010 17:15
To: ''
Subject: Case of Hissène Habré

Dear Baroness Ashton, 


I write to express concern at delays in organising the trial in Senegal of the exiled former dictator of Chad, Hissène Habré. 


In 2000, a Senegalese judge charged Habré with crimes against humanity during his 1982-1990 rule before the case was dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. In 2005, a Belgian judge indicted Habré but Senegal refused his extradition. In 2006, after the European Parliament called on Senegal “to guarantee a fair trial to Hissène Habré, through his extradition to Belgium if there is not an African alternative,”[1] Senegal accepted an African Union mandate to prosecute Habré “on behalf of Africa.” Senegal amended its laws to permit the trial but has refused to move forward until it receives full international funding for all anticipated costs.


In 2007, the EP invited the EU "to encourage and assist the government of Senegal in preparing for the prompt and fair trial of Hissène Habré."[2]  The EU and several Member States have agreed to help fund the trial but are waiting for Senegal to develop a credible budget. In January 2008, an EU team visited Senegal to pave the way for EU support, but the team’s subsequent recommendations were never followed up either by Senegal or the EU.


On 2 June 2009, Senegalese President Wade again wrote to the EU asking for technical support to arrive at an agreed-upon budget. In December 2009, an EU mission visited Senegal in response to the letter but has not yet reported back.


Time is of the essence. Survivors of Habré’s regime are dying off 19 years after his ouster. Senegal is of course primarily responsible for the delay – it has been condemned for it by the UN Committee against Torture and is being sued for it by Belgium at the International Court of Justice. But as the EU’s review of the dossier drags on, progress towards the trial has been completely halted. The Commission, working this time more closely with Senegal, needs to complete its review promptly so that an agreed budget can be presented for financing and the case can advance.


I thank you in advance for your kind consideration.


Kind regards,
Ana Gomes
Member of the European Parliament

European Parliament
Altiero Spinelli, ASP 14G354
60, Rue Wiertz
B-1047 Brussels
( + 32 (0)2 284 5824
6 + 32 (0)2 284 9824


[1][1] P6_TA(2006)0101

Impunity in Africa and in particular the case of Hissène Habré


[2][2] P6_TA-PROV(2007)04-26

Human Rights in the World - 2007