LIBERIA: HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION ASKS GVT NOT TO EXTRADITE EX-POLICE CHIEF OF SLEONE
The Chairperson of the Internal Commission on Human Rights, IMCHR, Cllr. Dempster BROWN, has called on the Weah-led Government not to extradite the Ex-Police Chief of Sierra Leone.
“The laws of Liberia hastened to remind the government that extradition potentially threatens the rights of surrendered persons who could face physical abuse, unfair trial or excessive punishment by requesting foreign legal system. The core values that criminal-justice cooperation impinges on include individual freedoms, human rights as well as legal fairness.” Cllr. Brown noted.
According to the Human rights advocate, both Sierra Leone and Liberia are signatories to several regional and international instruments including the United Nations Convention Against Traditional Organized Crime and ECOWAS Convention on Extradition.
The INCHR reminds the Weah-led Government to take note of the issues surrounding the case, adding that extradition should not be granted if the offense in respect of which is requested is regarded as a political offense or as an offense connected with a political offense.
Cllr. Brown said if there are substantial grounds for believing that a request for extradition for an ordinary criminal offense has been made for the purpose of prosecuting or punishing a person on account of race, tribe, religion, nationality, political opinion, sex, or status, such a decision shall affect provisions of the Geneva Convention of 12 August, 1949 and its additional Protocols and other multilateral International Conventions.
“If the person whose extradition is requested has been or would be, subjected to torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment in the requesting State or if that person has not received, or would not receive the minimum guarantees in criminal proceedings, as contained in Article 7 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights or other fundamental principles of human rights, he/she should not be extradited.” Cllr. Brown said.
Accordingly; the INCHR Boss expressed that under the Criminal Procedure Law, Section 8.3 and the Geneva Convention which Liberia is a signatory to; Liberia should not honor the request of the Sierra Leone Government to extradite the former Chief Superintendent of police Mr. Mohammed Y. Turay because there is no extradition agreement between the Liberian Government and the Sierra Leonean Government that would warrant the extradition of suspect Turay.
Dempster Brown reminded the Weah-led Government on the 1969 OAU Convention which governs specific aspects of the refugee problem in Africa, Specifically Article 2(3) enjoins Liberia not to reject any person who on the basis of well-founded fear refuses to return to his country of origin.
“Additionally, Liberia is prohibited to expel a person to return to his country where his life, physically integrity or liberty would be threatened. Also, the 1957 UN Refugee Convention calls on all contracting States to the convention not to expel a refugee under these Conventions. The African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights which Liberia ratified in 1983 states in Article 12(4) that a non-national legally admitted in a territory of a State Party to the present Charter may be expel from it by operation of law, but in the instant case, there is no extradition agreement between Liberia and Sierra Leone.” He said.