The United Nations estimates that more than 7,500 people have been killed in Syria since March last year [AFP]
It is the first international trial of an African former head of state, and Mr Taylor could face a maximum life sentence if found guilty.
"This was not the case in Russia. There was no real competition and abuse of government resources ensured that the ultimate winner of the election was never in doubt."
Who is Hissene Habre?
Born in 1942 to ethnic Toubou herders in northern Chad
Given scholarship to study political science in France
First came to the world's attention in 1974 when his FAN rebels captured three European hostages to ransom for money and arms
Seized power in 1982 allegedly with the help of the CIA and ousted by current President Idriss Deby in 1990
Accused of systematically persecuting groups he distrusted
A former swimming pool was used as an underground prison where survivors say they were subjected to electric shocks, near-asphyxia and "supplice des baguettes", when their head was squeezed between sticks
Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) -- Afghans took to the streets Thursday to demand a U.S. soldier accused of killing 16 civilians be prosecuted in Afghanistan as word spread that the American military moved him out of the country.