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Pillay: Senegal must review its decision to extradite Hissène Habré to Chad

GENEVA - UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay on Sunday expressed deep concern at the Senegalese Government’s announcement that Hissène Habré would be extradited to Chad, where he has already been sentenced to death in absentia.

The Government of Senegal has reportedly informed officials in Chad that the former Chadian dictator would be extradited to Chad on Monday.

“I urge the Government of Senegal to review its decision and to ensure that Habré’s extradition is carried out in a way that ensures his fair trial rights will be respected and he will not be subjected to torture or the death penalty,” Pillay said. “As a party to the Convention Against Torture, Senegal may not extradite a person to a state where there are substantial grounds for believing he would be in danger of being subjected to torture. At the very least Senegal must obtain fair trial guarantees from the Government of Chad before any extradition takes place.”

“Extraditing Habré in the present circumstances, in which those guarantees are not yet in place, may amount to a violation of international law,” she added.

Pillay stressed that it was essential that Habré be tried in line with due process and the right to a fair trial. Habre’s physical safety must be ensured at all times.

“Justice and accountability are of paramount importance and must be attained through a fair process in accordance with human rights law,” she said.
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Learn more about the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/AboutUs/Pages/HighCommissioner.aspx

Human rights in Chad: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/AfricaRegion/Pages/TDIndex.aspx

Human rights in Senegal: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/AfricaRegion/Pages/SNIndex.aspx

For more information or media requests, please contact press officer Ravina Shamdasani (+ 41 22 917 9310 / rshamdasani@ohchr.org) or spokesperson Rupert Colville (+41 22 917 9767 / rcolville@ohchr.org) or press officer Xabier Celaya (+ 41 22 917 9383 / xcelaya@ohchr.org).

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