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Court Orders Interview of 23 Refugees


A High court in Accra, Ghana’s capital this past week ordered the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) to allow lawyers from the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) and the Legal Resource Centre (LRC), both based in Accra, to interview 23 Liberian refugees detained by the GIS.

The order to allow the interview followed the filing of a motion on behalf of Theresa Cheddah Dogbey and the other 22 refugees. Ms Dogbey said on March 17, this year, she was among 630 women and children who were arrested and detained at a training center in the Greater Accra Region.

Two weeks ago, a coalition of human rights organizationsn sued the government of Ghana for “gross violation of the rights of Liberian refugees.

Nana Oye Lithur is Regional Coordinator of the Africa office of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative. On Friday, she discussed the case of the 23 refugees with VOA reporter Akwei Thompson.

Lithur said, “from the very beginning of the Liberian refugee problem in Ghana, we had stated, that government, specifically, the minister of interior was illegally detaining them.” She said, “we decided to follow up...” when the 23 refugees were not released on the day the others were released.

Lithur said, “they are going back” to the judge on Monday to argue for a writ of habeas corpus, and to ask for an order restraining the minister of interior from deporting the 23 Liberians to their country.

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