American jurists urge Cape Verde to comply with UN Human Rights Committee’s directive on Alex Saab


The American Association of Jurists, a non-governmental organization in consultative status with the United Nations has written to Cape Verde’s permanent mission to the United Nations in New York, asking the country to adhere to the directive by the UN Human Rights Commission to halt any extradition process on businessman and diplomat, Alex Nain Saab.

The association in its letter said Cape Verde by virtue of its membership of the United Nations, it is a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights is bound to obey the directives of the UN Human Rights Commission.

The letter, signed by the association’s president, Vanessa Ramos urged Cape Verde, ” to respect this order to refrain from extraditing Mr. Alex Nain Saab Moran to the United States of America while his case is under consideration by the Committee as well as ensuring access to appropriate health care according to the 8 June 2021 Decision.”

The United Nations Human Rights Committee on June 8, 2021 issued a directive to Cape Verde to put on hold any attempt to extradite businessman Alex Saab to the US to face charges of corruption in that country.

The directive followed a submission from Mr. Saab to the Committee on his situation.

The directive was to allow the Committee time to look into the matter by getting Cape Verde’s response to the submission as well.

Cape Verde is yet to comply with the decision as its president, Jorge Fonseca said earlier this week that he has no role to play in the enforcement of the order.

The American Association of Jurists said if Cape Verde insists and refuses to comply with the directives, it will by that action be acting contrary to the principles of human rights and the rule of law and be in serious breach of its obligations under the various global protocols on human rights.

It warned that Cape Verde could be putting itself in a position of diplomatic challenges if it does not immediately comply with the UN Human Rights Committee’s directive.

“The refusal by Cape Verde to comply with its international obligations would have serious, structural, and long-lasting diplomatic, economic, political, and legal consequences for Cape Verde. By refusing or ignoring the interim measures, Cape Verde would be following the path of Belarus and confirming its desire to definitively renounce adherence to human rights and the rule of law,” the association said.

Venezuelan businessman and diplomat, Alex Saab has been in state custody in Cape Verde since June 2020 when he was arrested in the West African country.

Cape Verdean authorities have accepted a request by the US to extradite him to face charges of corruption there.

But they have not been able to carry out the exercise due to the many legal objections raised by Mr. Saab’s lawyers.

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