Liberia truth commission delegates recommend war crimes tribunal

[JURIST] Delegates to Liberia's Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) [official website] have recommended that a war crimes court be established to try individuals accused of committing atrocities during the country's 1989-2003 civil war. Thirteen representatives from each of Liberia's 15 counties met with the TRC during week-long Regional County Consultations to allow the committee an opportunity to gather popular feedback. In a press release [text] issued Friday, the delegates called for granting amnesty to children and others forcibly conscripted to fight and for "perpetrators who made full disclosures during the TRC Public Hearings of their actual roles in the conflict." The TRC, which was established [TRC mandate text] by the peace accord that ended the 14-year civil war to document and investigate human rights violations during the civil war, also endorsed the creation of a war crimes court [JURIST report] in January.

The TRC held its first public session in January 2008, after beginning its work in October 2006 and stalling [JURIST reports] due to lack of funding in June 2007. Former Liberian president Charles Taylor [JURIST news archive] is currently on trial in the The Hague before the Special Court for Sierra Leone [official website] for crimes against humanity. In January, Taylor's son, Charles Arthur Emmanuel, was sentenced [DOJ press release; JURIST report] to a 97-year jail term by a US federal district court for committing torture in Liberia.



 

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