MONROVIA – The Civil Society Human Rights Advocacy Platform of Liberia has described the extradition of the former chief of Sierra Leone National Police Mr. Mohammed Y Toure from Liberia on suspicion of being part of a coup plot in neighboring Sierra Leone as unfortunate and against international, regional human rights norms and practices.
The human rights advocacy group in a statement issued today signed by its Secretary General, Mr. Adama K. Dempster said 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, adding that Toure 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 and furthermore Liberia should have consulted diplomatic channels and involving Interpol before drawing to a conclusion.
The statement further stated that a lesson learnt from the request for the extradition of Henry Costa in 2020, the Sierra Leonean government did not yield to Liberia’s request for extradition. They maintained diplomatic and human rights positions to not turn Mr. Costa over to Liberian Government.
Accordingly, the statement stressed that the CSO Platform and the human rights community view the rushed extradition of Mr. Toure from Liberia to Sierra Leone as unfair and against human rights best practices. 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.
The statement said: “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 Liberia judge to test the allegation levied against him in the warrant, the statement said.
“The CSO Platform calls 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.”
“While the civil society and the human rights community in Liberia remain in consultation with its counterparts the human rights community in Sierra Leone to follow up on the status of Mr Toure.”
“The human rights community and civil society condemn the wave of continued coup d’état in the African region. We further call on the regional body ECOWAS and AU to put appropriate measures in place to discourage coup and promote democratic governance in Africa” the statement concluded.