April 29, 2006
Wanted: Good Home for Former Dictator
I saw this press release from Human Rights Watch, “Taylor Trial: A Third Country Must Step Forward.”
It seems before our old boy Charles Taylor can get a trial at The Hague, a country (presumably one not involved in the conflict) has to offer to put him up in prison, if he is convicted of crimes against humanity. Until this happens Taylor’s trial remains stalled.
I can’t believe this…I thought for sure…countries would be lining up ready to offer a cold, dank 4×6 room with primitive plumbing for the International Criminal Court’s first major trial. Taylor is one of the top dogs in West Africa when it comes to human rights abuses. Who else can have a country terrorized for eight years as a guerrilla leader–and still win ‘free and fair’ (wink, wink) elections. The press release said:
“Liberia’s new president took a real risk by requesting Taylor’s surrender, and security concerns prompted the Special Court to request relocating the trial to The Hague,” said Richard Dicker, International Justice director at Human Rights Watch. “How can other countries now sit back and do nothing?”
How come other countries aren’t stepping up? What about the U.S? Did it run out of room in Guantanamo already? No vacancies at Abu Ghraib? Oh, that’s right…the U.S. isn’t a signatory to the ICC. Well, perhaps the administration has enough problems.
I think it is crucial for West Africans to know they do have accessibility to the ICC and Taylor will still be held responsible for his actions despite these setbacks. We should start planning now if in the next ten years the Iraqi people decide to take Rumsfeld or Cheney to the ICC and charge them with war crimes.
Oh I have a feeling there will be no problem finding a place to keep them in lockdown…