Interview of Yaré Fall of Senegal, legal counsel for the Association of Victims of Political Crimes and Repression (AVCRP) and for the Chadian Human Rights League (RADHT) Reviewed by Momizat on . Yaré Fall, legal counsel for the Association of Victims of Political Crimes and Repression (AVCRP) and for the Chadian Human Rights League (RADHT) Question 1: C Yaré Fall, legal counsel for the Association of Victims of Political Crimes and Repression (AVCRP) and for the Chadian Human Rights League (RADHT) Question 1: C Rating: 0

Interview of Yaré Fall of Senegal, legal counsel for the Association of Victims of Political Crimes and Repression (AVCRP) and for the Chadian Human Rights League (RADHT)

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Yaré Fall, legal counsel for the Association of Victims of Political Crimes and Repression (AVCRP) and for the Chadian Human Rights League (RADHT)

Question 1: Could you describe your background?

I have a classic educational background. I graduated with a master’s in law from Dakar’s Cheikh Anta Diop University in 1981. Immediately thereafter, I joined in the private sector for 10 year-stint before being called to the bar in 1990. I have since been a practising lawyer. I became human rights advocate very early and have acquired invaluable experience by attending courses, workshops and the like. Thanks to that, I am on the roster of counsel at the International Criminal Court and at the Special Court for Lebanon. I am also on the roster of counsel at the African Court of Justice and Human Rights. Moreover, I am currently in charge of the Senegalese chapter of Lawyers Without Borders and one of the vice-presidents of the Senegalese human rights league.

Question 2: What does your work as counsel for the civil parties entail?

I do not represent all the victims at the African Chambers; I only represent two victims’ groups, namely the Chadian Human Rights League (RADHT) and the Association of Victims of Political Crimes and Repression (AVCRP). A striking feature of this case is the sheer number of victims, estimated in the thousands. The EAC Statute – which echoes the Senegalese Code of Criminal Procedure – provides that any victim of the crimes under review may apply to be joined as a civil party. As you can imagine, processing thousands of civil party applications is a daunting task. This is why the Statute provides for joint representation of victims’ groups. So the role of legal counsel for civil parties in the case at hand entails representing and defending the victims, as well as acting as their liaison vis-à-vis the court, handling their requests, defending them and ensuring that the truth comes to light. We do everything in our power to ensure that the truth comes to light, that those responsible for the crimes are brought to trial and that the victims receive reparations for the injury they suffered as a result of those crimes.

Question 3: What will be the legacy of the EAC?

An important step has been taken, because this is the first time in Africa that a head of state is being brought before a court established by Africans. That sends a powerful message to all current leaders. There is no place for impunity in today’s world. Anyone who has committed what are considered the most serious crimes will be brought to justice sooner or later. Those crimes are not subject to any statute of limitations regardless of when they were committed, or the person or country involved. Thirty years ago, no one would have imagined that Hissein Habré could one day be tried outside his country here in Senegal by Senegalese judges. Yet that is exactly what we are witnessing today. For me, that is a crucial step.

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