I write to
express concern at delays in organising
the trial in Senegal of the exiled former
dictator of Chad,
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
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
the EP invited the EU "to encourage and assist the government of Senegal
in preparing for the prompt and fair trial of Hissène Habré." 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.
you in advance for your kind consideration.
Member of the European Parliament