Monrovia, Liberia – The extradition of the former head of the Sierra Leone National Police from Liberia on charges that he participated in a coup attempt in the neighboring country of Sierra Leone is regrettable and in violation of international, regional, and local human rights norms and practices, according to the Civil Society Human Rights Advocacy Platform of Liberia.
Superintendent Mohamed Toure, a former member of the Sierra Leone National Police, was deported to Sierra Leone on Tuesday, where he is wanted for suspected treason, the Liberian government announced.
Speaking at a press conference in Congo Town, Adama Dempster, Secretary General of the Civil Society Advocacy Human Rights Platform of Liberia, argued that the country should not have accelerated the extradition of the former head of the Sierra Leone Police on the grounds of his human rights and protection because Liberia is a state party to both international and regional human rights treaties.
Dempster contended that in order to access the essence of the allegation free from any political intervention, he should have been provided with a fair process as an accused person. The Liberian Civil Society Advocacy Human Rights Platform asserted that before making a decision, the governments ought to have sought advice through diplomatic channels and involved Interpol.
Dempster noted that Sierra Leone’s refusal to comply with Liberia’s request for extradition was a lesson learned from the request for Henry Costa’s extradition in 2020. He said that Sierra Leone maintained its human rights and diplomatic positions to not give Costa over to the Liberian government.
The hurried extradition of Mr. Toure from Liberia to Sierra Leone was considered as unfair and in violation of human rights best practices, according to CSO Platform and the human rights community.
“Mr. Toure should have had the chance to refute the accusations made against him in the extradition request from the government of Sierra Leone while in Liberia.”
According to Sierra Leonean law, every fugitive criminal in Sierra Leone shall be liable to be arrested and extradited in the way authorized by the Act under the Act of Extradition Process in Sierra Leone.
“All requests for the extradition of a fugitive criminal shall be made through the customary diplomatic channels to the Attorney-General, who may issue and endorse on, or attach to, the original warrant or request an Order as prescribed in Form 1 in the Sixth Schedule if the Attorney-General is satisfied with the authenticity of the warrant in whose favor the request is made and that any other conditions on which, in the particular case, the extradition depends, appear to be satisfied.”
In the event that Mr. Tourre is subjected to torture and other inhumane treatment by the government of Sierra Leone, the CSO Platform demanded that the Liberian government accept responsibility and bear the blame for failing to defend his fundamental rights.
The civil society and the human rights community in Liberia maintained that they would follow up on Mr. Toure’s situation after consulting with their counterparts in the human rights community in Sierra Leone. They also denounced the wave of ongoing coups on the African continent.
”We further request that ECOWAS and the AU take the necessary steps to prevent coups and advance democratic governance in Africa.”
Reported by: Augustine Octavius