Liberia’s Independent Rights Commission Files Habeas Corpus Writ For Sierra Leone Police Chief

As the Independent National Commission on Human Rights (INCHR) was preparing to file a Writ of Heabeas Corpus to produce the living body of former Sierra Leonean Police chief who was seeking refuge in Liberia, Chief Superintendent Mohammed Yaclty Turay was just about being handed over to the Sierra Leonean government across the frontier at the Mano River bridge, as Garmah Never Lomo reports.

The head of INCHR, Cllr. Dempster Brown on August 8, 2023 threatened to file writ of Habeas Corpus against the Liberia National Police if the Sierra Leonean former Chief Superintendent of Police is not sent to court by 2pm on Wednesday August 9, 2023.

Back in Sierra Leone, Turay has been accused of being a part of a coup attempt against the government of President Julius Maada Bio.

Legal encyclopedia defines Habeas corpus as “a recourse in law through which a person can report an unlawful detention or imprisonment to a court and request that the court order the custodian of the person, usually a prison official, to bring the prisoner to court, to determine whether the detention is lawful.”

Cllr. Brown recalled that the Government of the Republic of Sierra Leone has made a request to the Govenment of Liberia to extradite the former Chief Superintendent of Police, Mr. Mohammed Yaclty Turay, the INHCR calls on the Government of the Republic of Liberia to strongly consider interactional human rights obligations as it cogitates the request.

But the Liberian government has since late Tuesday, August 8, 2023 confirmed that he has aready been sent back to his country.

“Whilst the INCHR recognizes extradition as a critical tool for enforcing criminal laws across borders, it hastens to remind the government that extradition potentially threatens the rights of surrendered persons who could face physical abuse, unfair trial or excessive punishment by the requesting foreign legal system.,” an INCHR statement said.

And the INCHR statement continues:

“The core values that criminal-justice cooperation impinges on include individual freedoms, human rights, as well as legal fairness.

Cllr. Brown added that Recollecting that both the Republic of Sierra Leone and Liberia are signatories to several regional and international instruments including the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime and the ECOWAS Convention on Extradition, the INCHR reminds the Government of Liberia that amongst other things;  Extradition shall 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.

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.

If such a decision shall affect provisions of the Geneva Convention of 12 August, 1949 and its additional Protocols and other multilateral International Conventions, and,4. 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.

Also, under our Criminal Procedure Law, Section 8.3 and the Geneva Convention which Liberia is a signatory and ratified. The Republic of 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 Leone Government that would warrant the extradition of Mohammed Turay.

INCHR hereby reminding the Government of Liberia that the 1969 OAU Convention governing the specific aspects of the refugee problem in Afica, Specifically Aticle 2(3)) enjoins Liberia not to reject and 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 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 INCHR also wishes to inform the Government of Liberia that 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 In this Light, INCHR is advising the Liberian Government not to honor the request of the Sierra Leone Government to expel or extradite Mr. Turay from the Liberia Territory as in keeping with law.”

Visited 213 times, 1 visit(s) today

Comments are closed.