Former Liberian President Charles Taylor challenges prison conditions in UK and requests transfer to Rwanda

Former Liberian President Charles Taylor, who is imprisoned in the UK following his conviction by the Special Court for Sierra Leone in The Hague, has filed a motion before the Residual Mechanism of that Court applying to transfer his detention from the UK to Rwanda.  By agreement between the UK and the Court, Mr Taylor is held at HMP Frankland, County Durham (a Category A maximum security prison).

 

The motion submits that the conditions under which Mr Taylor is held violate international standards in at least three respects:

 

  • First, Mr Taylor is held in effective isolation in the prison hospital wing due to concerns for his safety, in breach of international standards on the segregation of prisoners. 
  • Second, there has been at least one threat to Mr Taylor’s life by anonymous letter apparently originating from within the prison, in respect of which he has not received adequate information or protection. 
  • Third, the UK immigration authorities have denied Mr Taylor’s wife and three young daughters entry into the UK in order to visit him – as they did regularly in The Hague – in breach of his Article 8 rights and those of his family. 

 

The motion is available here.

 

Michael Caplan QC of Kingsley Napley blogs about the merits of the motion here.

 

John Jones QC represents Charles Taylor in relation to his prison conditions in the UK, and co-filed the motion.  Katie O’Byrne assisted in preparing the motion.

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