…by a U.S. federal jury in Miami, Florida last week. Charles McArthur Emmanuel, aka Charles Taylor Jr., aka “Chuckie” Taylor is former Liberian President Charles Taylor’s son and was convicted on October 30 on “torture, firearms and conspiracy charges on the second day of jury deliberations.”
Prosecutors said the 31-year-old Emmanuel was involved in killings and torture as head of an elite Antiterrorist Unit in his father’s government also known as the “Demon Forces…
A succession of African witnesses told the jury about Emmanuel’s involvement in horrific acts including at least three killings and torture using electric shocks, lit cigarettes, molten plastic, hot irons pressed to flesh, stabbings with bayonets and even biting ants shoveled onto people’s bodies…
Chuckie Taylor was found guilty under the 1994 US federal extraterritorial torture statute. Under this law, US courts are able to prosecute American citizens or anyone present in the United States for crimes of torture committed overseas.
Boston-born Chuckie Taylor is the first person to be convicted under the new law.
Human Rights Watch had been pressing the U.S. Justice Department for some time to try Chuckie Taylor under the 1994 law. Back in 2006, HRW stated, “Federal laws on torture and war crimes committed abroad have been on the books for years, but we don’t know of a single person who has been prosecuted for them. 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.”
The 1994 law is similar to the the Child Soldier’s Accountability Act of 2007 where persons on U.S. soil can be tried for crimes committed overseas. Instead of addressing torture, the Child Soldier’s Accountability Act deals with child soldier recruitment.
This conviction marks a new chapter for holding war criminals accountable for their actions. We look forward to the seeing the Child Soldier’s Accountability Act used in the same way.
For more information on the Charles Taylor trial:
- Former girl soldier testifies at Charles Taylor Trial
- Former child soldier under Charles Taylor testifies in Monrovia
- Moses Blah discusses Small Boy Units (child soldiers) again at Charles Taylor Trial
- Charles Taylor’s former vice president, Moses Blah, testifies on child soldiers at trial
- Former Child Soldier Testifies at Charles Taylor Trial yesterday on “marking”, drugs, forced killings
- Former Child Soldier Testifies at Charles Taylor Trial: First faces deliberation on issues of protective measures
- Recent Testimony at Charles Taylor Trial on SBUs (small boy units)