Press Release

IACHR Takes Case Involving Suriname to Inter-American Court

February 9, 2012

Washington, D.C. – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) filed an application with the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IA Court HR) in Case No. 12.608, Liakat Ali Alibux, Suriname.

The case refers to the investigation and criminal process against Liakat Ali Alibux, former Minister of Finance and former Minister of Natural Resources of Suriname, who was sentenced on November 5, 2003 for the crime of forgery, in accordance with the procedures provide for in the Indictment of Political Officials Act.

The case was sent to the IA court HR on January 20, 2012, because the Commission considered that the State had not complied with the recommendations contained in its Report on the Merits. In that report, the IACHR concluded that the State of Suriname is internationally responsible for violating the rights to a fair trial, to judicial protection, to freedom from ex post facto laws, and to freedom of movement and residence; rights recognized in the American Convention on Human Rights. Specifically, the Commission concluded that Liakat Ali Alibux did not have a remedy to appeal his conviction; that he did not have access to the courts to challenge the constitutionality of the Act under which he was tried; that said Act was applied ex post facto; and that the restriction on his ability to leave the country was disproportionate.

A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote respect for human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this area. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in an individual capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.

No. 15/12