Schalk van Zuydam/Associated Press

A new study by the Human Rights Data Analysis Group (HRDAG) discloses documents prepared by Hissene Habré’s own Documentation and Security Directorate (DDS) to prove he was personally aware of the deaths of political opponents. Habré has been accused of killing and systematically torturing thousands of political opponents during his rule in Chad, from 1982 to 1990.

This analysis shows that Habré received 1,265 direct communications from the agency about the status of 898 detainees. A total of 12,321 victims are mentioned in the documents, including 1,208 who died in detention.

“Our analysis of document flow encompasses more than 2,700 administrative records, which together illustrate a clear communication and command link between President Habré and his political police,” said Romesh Silva, senior demographer for HRDAG and lead author of the report. “Our findings also confirm earlier qualitative accounts of prisoner conditions and high mortality within the DDS. Perhaps most compelling is the fact that the information gathered by the DDS and Habré to document their own abuses can now be used to hold them responsible for their actions.”

It has been 10 years since his indictment, yet despite strong evidence, he will not be tried until Senegal (which agreed to host the trial in 2006) receives €27.4 million from the international community to fund the trial.

The Documentation and Security Directorate (DDS) pursued opponents and operated notorious prisons during the Habré regime. The files were discovered by chance by Human Rights Watch in 2001 at the abandoned Security Directorate’s headquarters in N’Djamena, the Chadian capital.


Copies of the HRDAG report in English and French are available at:

For more information on the case against Hissène Habré, please visit: