The expression, “Ninety years not forever” was in a way, a wish that someday, whether in ninety years or so, those who “ate the Liberian people’s money”, took the laws into their own hands, killed and violated every law with impunity would have to pay for their sins. To the ordinary person, “Ninety years not forever” was their cry for justice.
The Ninety Years scenario has made many African leaders and criminals alike - casualties; but for some reasons, man, either by his very nature or for the sake of power, does not learn from history; he keeps repeating the same offense over and over in order to maintain power. And this is my point.
Charles Taylor’s son Chuckie has become the latest casualty of the “Ninety years not forever” scenario; like father and son, their sins have finally caught up with them. Since June 20, 2006, Charles Taylor, Sr. has been a guest at the International Criminal Court detention facility outside of The Hague; charged with 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, while, Chuckie Taylor, Jr. might be serving life sentence in a U.S. prison facility for committing similar atrocities.
I believe Chuckie Taylor felt he was untouchable, because he has been traveling despite being listed on the U.N. travel ban. So while attempting to enter the United States by way of Miami International Airport. On Tuesday, May 30, 2006, he was arrested and arraigned the same day before Miami Judge, Barry L. Garber in the Dyer Building courtroom; indicted for falsely stating his father’s name in a U.S. passport application. In addition, he goes under the assumed name, Charles McArthur Emmanuel.
Although Chuckie Taylor lived in Liberia, he is a U.S. citizen who was born in the United States. It is a crime under federal law for a U.S. citizen to commit torture and war crimes abroad. According to Dicker, “…we don’t know of a single person who has been prosecuted for them”. We don’t know “how serious can the U.S. be about justice when these laws have never been used to hold our own citizens to account? With Chuckie Taylor in custody, this is an ideal moment to wield this authority,” he stated.
In order to accentuate the need for investigation and prosecution of Chuckie Taylor on torture and war crimes under federal law (18 USC sections 2340A and 2441), Human Rights Watch submitted a memorandum to the Department of Justice on serious abuses in which Chuckie Taylor is implicated. The memorandum includes Human Rights Watch’s research and information from other human rights organizations, along with other open source material documenting the evidence against him.
Human Rights Watch is believed to have additional information and research available, which support their claim that during Chuckie Taylor’s tenure as head of the Anti-Terrorist Unit that many Liberians referred to as “ANOTHER TERRORIST UNIT (ATU) committed torture, including various violent assaults, beating people to death, rape and burning civilians alive.
On Wednesday, December 6, 2006, Chuckie Taylor, 29 years old - son of former Liberian President Charles Taylor was charged with committing torture as well as conspiracy, and could be sentenced to life in prison.
Based on the report filed by the Associated Press, “The indictment said that in 2002, a man was abducted from his home, and Emmanuel (Chuckie) and others burned him with hot iron, forced him at gunpoint to hold scalding water, applied electric shocks to his genitals and other body parts and rubbed salt in his wounds.”
Immediately after Charles Taylor became president in
1997, he created the ATU. Initially, the ATU was intended
to protect government buildings, the Executive Mansion,
the international airport, and to provide security for
some foreign embassies. Based on interviews Human Rights
Watch conducted with former Liberian combatants, ATU’s
responsibilities were expanded in 1999 to include combat
and other war-related duties, after rebels from the
Liberian United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD)
began operating in Liberian territory.
Finally, In the words of Lesley Abayomi Norman Cole, Sr., It is sad to see someone who is a friend self-destruct. As a leader, if you surround yourself with your mutual friends and you failed to listen to them or they are too afraid to speak their minds, you will end up like our friend Charlie who has become a classic case of how absolute power corrupts (paraphrase). So remember, “Ninety years not forever!” The indictment of Chuckie Taylor should serve notice to those of you that committed similar atrocities against the Liberian people and their neighbors. You could be next; it is only a matter of time!
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