Viewing cable 08ACCRA497
Title: Liberian Repatriation Suspended

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
08ACCRA4972008-04-10 15:01:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Accra
VZCZCXRO8876
PP RUEHMA RUEHPA
DE RUEHAR #0497 1011501
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 101501Z APR 08
FM AMEMBASSY ACCRA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6392
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 0400
UNCLAS ACCRA 000497 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
SENSITIVE 
 
DEPT FOR AF/FO, AF/W, AND PRM 
GENEVA FOR RMA 
 
E.O. 12958:  N/A 
TAGS: PREF PREL LI GH
SUBJECT: Liberian Repatriation Suspended 
 
Ref: A. Accra 380, B. Accra 383, C. Accra 422,  D.  Accra 475 
 
¶1. (U)  Summary:  Following habeus corpus lawsuits filed by two 
Ghanaian human rights NGOs that challenged the arrest and planned 
deportation of 23 Liberians, on April 8 the court of appeals has 
ordered the government to postpone the deportation of 23 Liberians 
scheduled for the same day.  The court also ordered that their 
lawyers be provided access to their clients and adjourned the case 
until April 14.  End Summary. 
 
¶2.  (SBU)  RefCoord and PolOff met with Tuinese Amuzu of the Legal 
Resources Centre (LRC), which jointly with the Commonwealth Human 
Rights Initiative (CHRI), is pursuing a lawsuit on behalf of 23 
Liberians in custody of the Ghana Immigration Service.  Although a 
separate case filed on behalf of all 630 Liberians was dismissed 
when most were released from detention, CHRI and LRC are continuing 
to press their court case on behalf of the 23 remaining in 
detention.  [Note: As reported in Ref B, UNHCR had verified these 
individuals were not refugees, and they had been scheduled for 
deportation on March 22. End Note].  CHRI and LRC have demanded 
access to the Liberians in detention, proof that they were lawfully 
detained under the Public Order Act, and action to prevent their 
deportation.  As a result of the court order, the lawyers will be 
given access to the clients, and the case is adjourned until April 
¶14. 
 
¶3.  (SBU) Amuzu also met with the protestors at Buduburam on March 
17 and visited Kodiabe on March 18.  According to Amuzu, there were 
no reports of violence during the March 17 arrests, nor did he 
observe evidence of violence.  He was told on March 18 that two 
women miscarried pregnancies; but said that these reports were not 
confirmed.  He also expressed concern that the tents at Kodiabe were 
inadequate. 
 
¶4.  (SBU) Concerning the 16 Liberians who have already been 
deported, Amuzu cited an absence of due process in their return.  He 
said Ghana's Refugee Law requires an individual withdrawal of status 
by the Ghana Refugee Board, written notification, and fourteen days 
to appeal.  Regarding the GOG's invocation of the "cessation" clause 
of the Refugee Law (i.e., a determination that refugee status no 
longer applies to the Liberians due to a change in conditions in 
their home country) Amuzu said that Article 17 of the Ghana Refugee 
Law on cessation is only a clarification of when Article 15 (b) on 
the withdrawal of refugee status can be applied.  However, he 
stressed that the GOG must still follow appropriate procedures to 
withdraw refugee status in individual cases.  He admitted that a 
Supreme Court ruling would be required to clarify this point. 
 
¶5. (SBU) Comment: While UNHCR lawyers in Geneva are looking at the 
reading of the law, the Ghana Supreme Court will have the final say 
on the law's interpretation.  However, the NGOs' lawsuit may 
encourage the GOG to cooperate with UNHCR and GoL in ensuring legal 
protections are in place for future returns.  End Comment. 
 
BROWN