Charles Taylor found guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity
- Democracia Participativa
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Many other guilty dictators are neither mentioned nor prosecuted in international courts
Washington, Apr. 27.─ Victoria Nuland, US State Department Spokesperson, issued a Press Release on April 26 stating that the United States welcomes the issuance of the judgment by the Special Court for Sierra Leone, convicting Charles Taylor (photo), the former president of Liberia, of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Ms. Nuland declared that: "Today's judgment was an important step toward delivering justice and accountability for victims, restoring peace and stability in the country and the region, and completing the Special Court for Sierra Leone's mandate to prosecute those persons who bear the greatest responsibility for the atrocities committed in Sierra Leone. The Taylor prosecution at the Special Court delivers a strong message to all perpetrators of atrocities, including those in the highest positions of power, that they will be held accountable.
The trial of Charles Taylor is of enormous historical and legal significance as it is the first of a powerful head of state to be brought to judgment before an international tribunal on charges of mass atrocities and serious violations of international humanitarian law. Over 90 witnesses testified during the trial, bringing to light the range of crimes committed during the war in Sierra Leone, and affirming the importance of justice for the victims. The United States has been a strong supporter and the leading donor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone since its inception. The successful completion of the Special Court's work remains a top U.S. Government priority."
This statement is not truthful enough because Charles Taylor was no longer in power and exiled in Nigeria when he was captured. A silimar case years before was that of President Slobodan Milošević of Yugoslavia, who was also charged of war crimes and crimes against humanity in 1999 when he was still in power, but he was not sent to The Hague to stand trial for charges of war crimes until after his resignation under pressure. Many other heads of states still in power in different continents may also be charged of mass atrocities and serious violations of internacional humanitarian law. Most prominent among human rights violators in recent years are Kim il-Jong of North Korea, Omar al-Bashir of Sudan, Bashar al-Assad of Syria, Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus, not to mention those dictators in Cuba, Uzbekistan, Venezuela and other countries known to have commited serious crimes against their own people but crafty enough to maintain good relations with many democratic countries.