UN Human Rights Office directs Cape Verde to suspend Alex Saab extradition


The UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) has called on Cape Verde to stop any effort to extradite Venezuelan ambassador, Alex Saab to the US to face charges there.

It has also asked the West African country to enable Mr. Saab access to healthcare from a physician of his choice.

These directives were given as interim measures as the Human Rights Office looks into a submission by lawyers for Mr. Saab on the ongoing case.

The Office in a response letter to the submission said the directives to Cape Verde is to be in force as it looks into the matter but they are subject to change based on new information it may receive from the author of the submission or Cape Verde.

“Pursuant to rule 94 of the Committee’s rules of procedure, the State party has been requested to refrain from extraditing Mr. Alex Nain Saab Moran to the United States of America while his case is under consideration by the Committee or until further notice,” it stated.

OHCHR said Cape Verde has up to 8th February, 2022 to respond.

“The State party has been further requested to take all necessary measures to ensure access to appropriate health care for the author, preferably by independent and specialized physicians of his choice. This request is made on the basis of the information contained in the author’s submission.”

“In accordance with rule 92 of the Committee’s rules of procedure, a copy of the communication has been transmitted to the State party today, with the request that any information or observations in respect of both the question of admissibility and the merits of your communication should reach the Committee no later than 8 February 2022,” excerpts of the letter  jointly signed by Helene Tigroudja and Arif Bulkan, special rapporteurs on New Communications and Interim Measures of the Human Rights Committee said.

This new directive means that Cape Verde would have to suspend any plan to extradite Alex Saab to the US.

The businessman, an diplomat of Venezuela was arrested in Cape Verde in June 2020 while on his way to Iran on a mission for Venezuela.

He has remained in custody in that country since then as his lawyers litigate his continuous detention and plan to extradite him to the US.

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