The Council of Patriots chairman, Henry Costa has reportedly departed Freetown Sierra Leone via Royal Air Maroc early Thursday morning, despite a late official request Wednesday by the George Manneh-led government to have him extradited to Liberia.
Civil and Human Rights activists in Sierra Leone confirmed to journalists, Thursday that Mr. Costa was allowed to leave without further provocation of his right under the international human rights convention, which forbids countries from sending anyone to a country where he thinks his life, will be in imminent danger.
The convention protocol relating to refugees under the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees subscribes to the core principle of international refugee law, which provides that no one shall expel or return against his or her will, in any manner whatsoever, to a territory where he or she fears threats to life or freedom. The Convention is both a status and rights-based instrument and is underpinned by a number of fundamental principles, most notably non-discrimination and non-penalization.
On Wednesday, President Maada Bio ordered the leader of the Council of Patriot released but Sierra Leone authorities had reportedly delayed his departure due to the late official request from Liberia. Mr. Costa’s departure early Thursday suggests that the Bio government did not take the Liberia request seriously.