Cindor Reeves leaves Canada


Cindor Reeves, a man who risked his life to bring one of the most blood-soaked tyrants of the last 25 years to justice, has left Canada following a deportation order against him.

Reeves was once the brother-in-law of Charles Taylor, a Liberian warlord and then president of the country who is now on trial in The Hague, accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Taylor is there in large part because Cindor Reeves helped the Special Court for Sierra Leone build its case against him. Reeves did this at great personal risk, and without asking for anything in return. The Special Court put Reeves and his family in a witness protection program in Europe. Unhappy there, Reeves came to Canada and applied for refugee status. When he did so, Reeves lost the protection of the Special Court, which effectively abandoned him. 

The Canadian government intervened in Reeves’ case, arguing he should be barred from living here because of his alleged involvement in crimes against humanity. Not a shred of evidence has been produced to suggest that Reeves personally harmed anyone. He helped Taylor smuggle guns and diamonds between Liberia and Sierra Leone. He’s never denied this. Reeves’ application was rejected and he received a removal order last year.

(It’s a long and complicated case. Those unfamiliar with it should scroll through the many stories I’ve written about it these past five years.)

Reeves left Canada on his own accord, before he had played out every card that might have delayed his departure. His wife and children had already been granted refugee status here under the perverse reasoning that their relationship to Reeves made it too dangerous for them to return to Liberia. There was a slim chance that Reeves might have been granted a stay of deportation for similar reasons, but Reeves was convinced this government would not rest until he was gone. He feared being jailed here, or handcuffed and escorted onto a plane. I think he wanted to preserve some dignity and control over his own fate.

No news story I have ever covered — at least in Canada — has more saddened, angered and disillusioned me than this one. Reeves is a good and brave man whose life has been shattered because of government and bureaucratic incompetence and malice. The same goes for his wife and children who must now live without him. It’s a moral stain on this administration and on the civil servants involved.

Oddly, perhaps, Reeves holds no ill will toward Canada or Canadians. In one of our last conversations, he repeatedly said what a great country Canada is and how happy he was that at least his children might live here.

I worry that writing about where Reeves is and where he might be headed might endanger him, so I won’t. I’ll publish more details if this changes.




Cindor Reeves leaves Canada

  1. Thank you for covering this MP. I share your anger and sense of disillusionment. Why on earth have the singled out this one man? This is not the Canada i signed up for in 1977. Good luck and God bless Cindor Reeves.

    Canada let him down, the special court let him down,  British intelligence let him down. Other then yourself and those who tried to testify on his behalf in your articles do you feel anyone else did a tolerable job of going to bat for him here ; do you think the opposition parties let him down too? This is a sad and depressing story.

  2. It’s shocking to me that our government would grant his family refugee status because they might be killed for being the family of a tyrant-stopping hero, yet we’re simultaneously willing to deport him despite the fact that his life is likely in danger because he’s a tyrant-stopping hero.

  3. this man is not and would never be a good man.he was trying to head to the caribbean.Barbados and remarry there or to st vincent and the grenadines .the wedding was call off the young lady there didnt know he was married.he had her fooled

  4. Cindor Reeves was a  liar and the Special Court did prosecutors did not even call him as a witness in the Charles Taylor trial.

  5. Cindor Reeves was a liar for this reason the Special Court prosecutors did not even call him as a witness in the Charles Taylor trial.

  6. Have you any information on what contribution Cindor Reeves actually made to the Prosecution’s case? Was he in fact called as a witness? Being close to the events and then trying to make the most of that does not make him a hero nor does it absolve him if he was in fact involved in crimes against humanity.

    • Cindor Reeves was found to be an unreliable witness in the trial of Guus Kouwenhoven an accused gun runner for Charles Taylor. For this reason the prosecutors shyed away from him and never called him during the Taylor trial.

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