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Police corruption in the street markets of Monrovia, Liberia

“When the police want something, they just come and rob us,” says Patrick Davis, as his fellow street vendors in central Monrovia nod in agreement and push forward to tell their stories. Davis sells jeans and trousers on the pavements of the Liberian…
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Liberia's "big man" surely thought he'd enjoy a comfortable retirement when he left power back in 2003. But on April 26 the Special Court for Sierra Leone convicted Charles Taylor for war crimes and crimes against humanity, proving that even the most…
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Should Vladimir Putin be studying the conviction of Charles Taylor, the former Liberian president? What about Henry Kissinger?
  
 In April a United Nations–backed special tribunal in The Hague convicted Taylor of “aiding and abetting” the…
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Charles Taylor's guilt puts violent leaders in Syria and Libya on notice

The verdict against former Liberian President Charles Taylor at the Sierra Leone Special Court has been eagerly anticipated by many in Sierra Leone. But, as is often the case with abusive leaders wielding power, bringing Taylor to justice was once…
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This week, homophobic rhetoric in Liberia once again reared its ugly head when a flier publicizing a “hit list” of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals was distributed in Monrovia.It appears that “kicking gays out of Liberia” as the…
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Joseph Kony, Thomas Lubanga and Charles Taylor are just the tip of the iceberg. The use of children as soldiers extends far beyond Africa. Last week in The Hague, the International Criminal Court, or ICC, found the Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga guilty…
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In Norway on Saturday, three women stepped up to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2011. The awarding of the Nobel to Leymah Gbowee, Tawakkul Karman and Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf is a long-awaited and, some may think, overdue testament to women's courage.…
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Human Rights Watch mourns the passing of a close colleague and dear friend, Tim Hetherington, who was killed in Misrata, Libya, on April 20, 2011 by a mortar round while covering the armed conflict. Hetherington was a brilliant photographer and film-maker…
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How to keep foreign dictators from living large in the U.S.

In sunny Malibu a real estate agent named Neal Baddin helps the playboy son of one of the world's most corrupt leaders buy a $30 million mansion. Teodoro Nguema Obiang lives off money taken from the coffers of Equatorial Guinea, a tiny but oil-rich…
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The Trial of Charles ‘Chuckie’ Taylor, Jr.

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…
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Bringing their tormentors to book is an important way for victims to recover their dignity

John Laughland suggests that human rights organisations, including Human Rights Watch, are more concerned about the conviction of former heads of state than about them getting fair trials. Nothing could be further from the truth. (Fujimori's trial could…
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To the Editor: Re ''International Justice on Trial'' (editorial, June 10): The challenges judges need to rise to in trying war-crimes cases fairly and efficiently were evident at the opening of the trial of Charles Taylor, the former president of…
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As the transfer of Liberia's former president to face trial in The Hague remains stalled, the EU ministerial meeting this week with the Economic Community of West African States could not be more timely. Six weeks earlier, many governments cheered as…
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Observations on justice

In the early hours of 29 March a Land-Rover with Nigerian diplomatic number plates arrived at a border post linking north-east Nigeria with Cameroon. It passed through immigration and was on its way through customs when officials realised that among the…
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The transfer of former Liberian president and war crimes suspect Charles Taylor to the UN-backed Special Court on Sierra Leone is more evidence that the world has become a less hospitable place for people who are accused of committing atrocities.
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Bringing to justice those who commit atrocities has obvious appeal. It provides redress for victims and their families, punishes perpetrators, and deters others from replicating their crimes. But is the price too high? Critics argue that the threat of…
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Interest in rights issues must not wane with Powell's departure

If Condoleezza Rice's testimony this week at her Senate confirmation hearing as secretary of state is an indicator of the Bush administration's plans for Africa, Africans and the human rights community should be worried. In his first four years,…
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On Friday, Secretary of State Colin Powell and UN Secretary General Kofi Annan are hosting an international donors' conference to raise $500 million to rebuild Liberia. Donors will only be successful in building the rule of law in Liberia if they address…
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When John Howard goes to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Abuja today, he will at least be spared having to deal with some of the Commonwealth's more embarrassing relatives. With Zimbabwe and Pakistan suspended from the Commonwealth's top…
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Africa is becoming less safe for dictators and warlords. Facing growing pressure to step aside, Charles Taylor, the warlord-cum- President of Liberia, finally left Monrovia for exile on August 11. Besieged by rebels, indicted by Sierra Leone’s Special…