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Adama Dempster damns extradition of Sa Leone’s ex-Police Chief

The Civil Society Human Rights Advocacy Platform of Liberia has described the extradition of the former Chief of Police of Sierra Leone Mohammed Toure by Liberia on suspicion of being part of a coup plot against the Sierra Leonean government as unfortunate and against international and regional human rights norms and practices.

Addressing a news conference on Wednesday, August 9, in Congo Town, the Secretary General of the Civil Society Advocacy Human Rights Platform of Liberia, Adama 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. 

According to Mr. Dempster, the Sierra Leonean should have been given due process as an accused person to access the nature of the allegation void of political interference. 

He said the Government of Liberia should have consulted diplomatic channels and involved Interpol before drawing a conclusion. 

Dempster noted that a lesson learned from the request for the extradition of Liberian Henry Costa in 2020, is that the Sierra Leonean government did not yield to Liberia’s request for extradition.

He indicated that Sierra Leone relied on diplomatic and human rights positions in not turning Mr. Costa over to the Liberian government. 

He said the CSO Platform and the human rights community in Liberia view the rushed extradition of Mr. Toure 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 Sierra Leonean government while in Liberia.” 

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According to him, under Sierra Leonean extradition law, every fugitive criminal in Sierra Leone shall be liable to be apprehended and extradited in the manner provided by law. 

“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, appears 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”, Mr. Demspter quoted.

He noted 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.

Meanwhile, the CSO Platform called on the Liberian government to take responsibility and be blamed for failing to protect the basic rights of Mr. Toure’s if the Sierra Leonean government subjects him to torture and other inhumane treatments. 

The civil society and the human rights community in Liberia maintained that they will be in consultation with the human rights community in Sierra Leone to follow up on the status of Mr. Toure, while condemning the wave of continuous coup d etata in the  West African region. 

“We further call on the regional body, ECOWAS and the AU to put appropriate measures in place to discourage coups and promote democratic governance in Africa. Editing by Jonathan Browne   

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