CSO CONDEMNS ‘RUSH’ EXTRADITION OF EX-SIERRA LEONEAN POLICE CHIEF BY: JULIUS KONTON

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The Civil Society Human Rights Advocacy Platform of Liberia has described as unfortunate and against international, regional and human rights norms and practice, the extradition of the former chief of Sierra Leone national police, Mohammed Y. Toure from Liberia.

Mr. Toure was extradited to his home soil   on alleged suspicion of being part of a coup plot in neighboring Sierra Leone.

According to the Secretary General of the Human Rights group, Adama Dempster ,Liberia as a state party to international and regional human rights treaties should not have hastened the extradition of the former chief of Sierra Leone Police on the basis of his human rights and protection.

 “He should have been given a due process as an accused person to access the nature of the allegation void of any political grounds of interference,” he added.

Moreover, Mr. Dempster pointed out that   Liberia should have consulted diplomatic channels and involving Interpol before drawing to a conclusion.

He recalled a lesson learnt from the request for the extradition of Henry Costa in 2020, the Sierra Leonean government he stated did not yield to Liberia’s request for extradition but rather  maintained diplomatic and human rights positions  not to turn Mr. Costa over to Liberian Government.

The right advocate indicated that the Human Rights community views the rushed extradition of Mr. Toure from Liberia to Sierra Leone as unfair and against human rights best practice.

He re-emphasized that Mr. Toure should have been given the opportunity to challenge the allegations he was accused of committing in the extradition request from the Government of Sierra Leone while in Liberia.

“Under the act of EXTRADITION PROCESS IN SIERRA LEONE: Under the Act, every fugitive criminal in Sierra Leone shall be liable to be apprehended and extradited in the manner provided by the Act. “All requests for the extradition of a fugitive criminal shall be addressed through the usual diplomatic channels to the Attorney-General who, if satisfied of the authenticity of the warrant in virtue of which the request for extradition is made, and that any other conditions on which, in the particular case, the extradition depends, appear to be fulfilled, may issue and endorse on, or attach to, the original warrant or request an Order as prescribed in Form 1 in the Sixth Schedule, and the said Order shall be a sufficient authority to apprehend the fugitive criminal and bring him before a Judge or Magistrate.” 

The CSO Platform believes that despite Mr. Toure being a Sierra Leonean national, his rights to protection from torture and other inhumane treatment should have been guaranteed by his appearance before a Liberian judge to test the allegation levied against him in the warrant.

He used the occasion to call on the Liberian Government to take responsibility and be blamed for failing to protect the basic rights of Mr. Tourre if the government of Sierra Leone subjects him to torture and other inhumane treatment.

Mr. Dempster informed our reporter that the civil society and the human rights community in Liberia remains in consultation with its counterparts, the human rights community in Sierra Leone to follow up on the status of MrToure;

However, he was quick to point out that the human rights community and civil society condemned in the strongest term,  the wave of continued coup d etata in the African region.

“We further call on the regional body ECOWAS and African Union to put appropriate measures in place to discourage coup and promote democratic governance in Africa.”, he added.

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