Charles Taylor verdict 'brings some measure of justice' but is 'just the tip of the iceberg'

Amnesty International has welcomed the conviction of Charles Taylor, the former president of Liberia, who was found guilty today of war crimes, at The Hague, but has said that reparations are integral to achieving justice for the victims and assisting them to rebuild their lives.

Commenting on the conviction of Charles Taylor, Brima Abdulai Sheriff, Director of Amnesty International Sierra Leone, said:

"There is no doubt that today's verdict sends an important message to high-ranking state officials; no matter who you are or what position you hold, you will be brought to justice for crimes.

"While today's conviction brings some measure of justice to the people of Sierra Leone, Taylor and the others sentenced by the Special Court are just the tip of the iceberg.

“Thousands of persons suspected of criminal responsibility for incidences of unlawful killings, rape and sexual violence, mutilations and the use of Children's rights in Sierra Leone’s armed conflict have never been investigated, much less prosecuted.

"Sadly, only a limited number of Sierra Leone's thousands of victims who bear the terrible scars of the conflict have received reparations, despite the Lomé Peace Accord and the clear recommendations by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC)

"Reparations are integral to achieving justice for the victims and assisting them to rebuild their lives.

“This verdict can also be seen as a reminder for Taylor’s home country Liberia that those responsible for the crimes committed during Liberia’s conflict must be brought to justice.”

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