Press release - 355(2010)

Extradition of Mustapha Labsi

Statement by Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland

Strasbourg, 29.04.2010 – We learned, yesterday, that the Slovak authorities have decided to extradite Mustapha Labsi, an Algerian national, to Algeria on 19 April in spite of the request from the European Court of Human Rights not to do so. This measure was issued because the Court considered that there were real grounds to fear that Mr Labsi would be exposed to ill-treatment in Algeria.

As Secretary General of the Council of Europe, I regret this action on the part of the Slovak authorities. It is essential that measures taken by the Court, in order to give practical effect to the rights enshrined in the Convention, are respected by all member states. Failure to do so risks undermining the system of human rights which lies at the heart of the Council of Europe's activity.

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Mustapha Labsi, an Algerian national, entered Slovakia from Austria in April 2006 without any identity documents. On 20 July 2006, the Foreigners Police Department in Bratislava ordered the applicant's expulsion and banned him from entering Slovakia for ten years. The Algerian authorities requested his extradition to Algeria where he had been found guilty in absentia of membership of a terrorist organisation and sentenced to life imprisonment. On 13 August 2008, the European Court of Human Rights asked the Slovakian authorities not to extradite the applicant to Algeria before further notice (interim measure taken according to Rule 39 of the Rules of the Court).

Council of Europe Directorate of Communication
Tel: +33 (0)3 88 41 25 60
Fax:+33 (0)3 88 41 39 11

pressunit@coe.int

www.coe.int



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