Wednesday, November 27, 2013
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has filed an application with the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in Case No. 12.794, involving Wong Ho Wing, a Chinese national who was taken into custody in Peru.
Peru took Mr. Wong Ho Wing into custody on October 27, 2008 pursuant to an extradition request from China. The extradition process is still ongoing. In its Report on the Merits of the case, the IACHR concluded that Mr. Wong Ho Wing has been and continues to be subjected to an arbitrary and excessive deprivation of liberty that has no procedural basis and that has been extended for more than five years under the concept of “provisional arrest,” without a final determination having been made as to his legal situation.
The IACHR concluded that at the different stages of the extradition proceedings, domestic authorities committed a series of omissions and irregularities in the processing of the case and in procuring and weighing the reported assurances offered by China. The IACHR determined that these omissions and irregularities constituted not only violations of several aspects of due process, but a failure to comply with the obligation to guarantee Mr. Wong Ho Wing’s right to life and to humane treatment, given the risk that the death penalty or possible acts of torture could be applied.
The IACHR also concluded that since May 24, 2011, when the Peruvian Constitutional Court ordered the executive branch to refrain from extraditing Mr. Wong Ho Wing, the Peruvian State authorities have failed to fully comply with this court ruling, which is incompatible with the right to judicial protection.
The case was sent to the Inter-American Court because the IACHR determined that Peru has not complied with the recommendations contained in the IACHR's Report on the Merits of the case. After concluding that Mr. Wong Ho Wing's right have been violated, the IACHR recommended that Peru bring the extradition process to a conclusion as soon as possible. The IACHR also recommended that the State order an ex officio review of Wong Ho Wing’s provisional arrest, and make full reparations to him for the violations established in the merits report. Finally, the IACHR recommended that Peru adopt measures to ensure that the procedures established in the Code of Criminal Procedure are followed to the letter in future extradition processes and that the necessary safeguards are in place to ensure that any diplomatic or other assurances offered by the requesting State are procured and weighed in accordance with relevant international standards.
This case offers the Inter-American Court it first opporunity to develop case law on the standards to be applied to extradition requests so that States do not violate their obligations under the American Convention on Human Rights.