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Son of Liberia ex-president ordered to pay $22 million to torture victims

[JURIST] A US federal court Friday ordered a final judgment of $22 million [press release, PDF] against Charles Emmanuel "Chuckie" Taylor, Jr." to be paid to five torture victims. Charles was charged [indictment, PDF] with torture while he was in charge of Liberia's Anti-Terrorism Unit (ATU). The order issued by the judge outlined:

the multiple forms of torture; cruel, inhuman, or degrading punishment or treatment; arbitrary arrest and prolonged detention to which the plaintiffs were subjected and recognizes the past, present and future physical and mental suffering those abuses inflicted.

Human Rights USA [advocacy website], which served as amicus curaie in the criminal case and represented plaintiffs in the civil case against Taylor, said it hoped the award would "serve as a deterrent to others who believe they could mistreat fellow humans in this manner and never be held accountable."

Taylor is the son of former Liberian president Charles Taylor [BBC profile; JURIST news archive], who is currently on trial [case website] before the Special Court for Sierra Leone [official website] sitting at The Hague. Taylor faces 11 counts [indictment, PDF] of crimes against humanity, violations of the Geneva Conventions [materials], and other violations of international humanitarian law stemming from a "campaign to terrorize the civilian population" of Sierra Leone.

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