Hissène Habré: Prosecuting an Embarrassing Ally

The conviction of Hissène Habré for crimes against humanity was the culmination of a 17 year long campaign for justice. And without the perseverance of a small group of lawyers – including ‘Dictator Hunter’ Reed Brody – who made it their mission to see Habré stand trial, it might not have happened. We follow them on the campaign and investigate what turned Hissène Habré into such a bloodthirsty dictator. How did he get away with it for so long?

After seizing power in 1982, Habré received support from France and America, who saw him as a bulwark against Gaddafi’s regime in neighbouring Libya. He set up a secret police force, the notorious DDS, which hunted down and murdered political opponent. It’s estimated that 40,000 people were killed and other 200,000 tortured in his eight year rule. Following the collapse of his regime, he escaped to Senegal with $11 million, where, decades later, he was convicted by a special tribunal.


  • Year: 2016
  • Duration: 52 mins
  • Production: GALAXIE PRESSE
  • Director:
  • Available Versions: ENG, FRA
  • Country of production: France


  • FIGRA (France), Human Rights Human Wrongs (Norway); Dig Awards (Italy);

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