Arusha, June 19, 2014 (FH) – Former Liberian president Charles Taylor, sentenced in 2012 to 50 years for crimes against humanity in Sierra Leone and currently jailed in the UK, has asked to be transferred to Rwanda, to be closer to his family, Hirondelle learned on Thursday.

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Taylor, 66, sent his request to the Residual Mechanism for the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL). The SCSL officially closed its doors after it had finished his case.

Rwanda already has other SCSL convicts in its prisons.

“The UK has a duty to ensure family life, not just for him but for his family,” Taylor’s lawyer John Jones told the BBC. “It's a clear duty under international law and English domestic law."

Taylor indicated even before his transfer to the UK that he would rather serve his jail term in Rwanda.

The former president, convicted of crimes against humanity committed during the civil war in Sierra Leone (1991-2002), was transferred on October 15, 2013 from the Netherlands to a high security prison near Durham, in northeast England.

“"In the eight months that he has been in the UK he has not received a single visit from his wife and children,” Jones told the BBC. The lawyer said visas had not been granted to members of his family as immigration officials were "not satisfied that they are going to return to Liberia after their visit to see him, which is ridiculous".

A UK Foreign Office spokesperson responded that Taylor and his family have “the same visiting rights as any prisoner in the UK” and that the Liberian president was held in decent conditions, according to AFP.

Taylor’s wife, Victoria Addison Taylor, claimed last November that her husband was being detained with “terrorists and other British common law criminals” and was being “humiliated” every day.