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On December 6, 2006, the United States Department of Justice indicted Charles “Chuckie” Taylor, Jr., son of former Liberian President Charles Taylor, for committing torture in Liberia. The case, which is scheduled to go to trial in September 2008, is significant on a number of levels. First, it stands in contrast to what has been widespread impunity for human rights violations in Liberia. Second, the charges are brought under a U.S. federal law that has been unique in its criminalization of human rights violations committed outside U.S. territory. Third, although torture committed abroad has been a crime in the United States for more than a decade, the case against Chuckie Taylor is the first prosecution for the crime.

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