Washington, The African Bar Association (AFBA) called on Cape Verde authorities to release Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab, who was detained in the country and approved for extradition to the US.
Saab was arrested in Cape Verde last year on a US extradition warrant connected to accusations of Iran sanctions violations. Earlier in September, the Constitutional Court of Cape Verde rejected an appeal by Saab’s lawyers, thereby supporting his extradition to the United States.
“[AFBA] demands for the immediate and unconditional release of Ambassador Alex Saab, respect for the ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) Court and the Rule of Law in Africa by Cape Verde and all Governments and Institutions in Africa as the African Bar Association will continue to demand for the respect of treaty obligations and the independence of Judiciary in Africa,” AFBA said in the statement released.
AFBA said that Saab’s case constitutes a gross human rights violation and illegal detention in violation of international law.
Saab’s legal defense team similarly has called the extradition a violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.
Saab was en route to Iran on a humanitarian mission for the Venezuela government when he was arrested during a fuel stop in Cape Verde.