Tuesday, July 13, 2010

FBI says: HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATORS - No Safe Haven in the U.S.

Source: FBI


As the commander of a paramilitary security force in the West African nation of Liberia, he led a reign of terror from 1999 to 2003. Along with his associates, he tortured a series of victims in the most horrific ways: burning them with cigarettes, scalding water, candle wax, and an iron…severely beating them with firearms…cutting and stabbing them…and shocking them with an electric device.

Roy Belfast, Jr., aka Chuckie Taylor, was brought to justice for his human rights crimes…in a federal court in Miami, where he was sentenced to 97 years in prison.

How did he end up in an American courtroom? Because U.S. law says that if human rights violators are U.S. nationals, commit offenses against U.S. citizens, or are present in this country, they can be charged here. In Taylor’s case, he was born in America, and he was arrested in 2006 while trying to enter the country illegally.

The FBI takes the lead in investigating human rights violations falling under U.S. law enforcement jurisdiction, but we work closely with our partner agencies, in particular Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Department of Justice’s Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section.

Since 1988, Congress has enacted laws that have expanded our authority over human rights violations—genocide, torture, war crimes, and the recruitment or use of child soldiers.

Our primary mission today? To identify violators in the U.S. and bring them to justice for crimes committed within or outside this nation. We investigate individuals for both specific humans right violations—like in Chuckie Taylor’s case—and more traditional crimes—like the sexual assault of a 14-year-old girl in Iraq and the murder of both the girl and her family, which led to the conviction of an American soldier.

Human Rights Offenses Program. Recently, with additional funding from Congress, we expanded our efforts in the area of human rights enforcement. As part of our new program, we use four key strategies:

Continue to investigate priority human rights cases with our domestic and international law enforcement partners;

Training our own personnel and those of our foreign counterparts to ensure that human rights investigations are conducted with the “rule of law” principles;

Collecting domestic and international intelligence on human rights violators and violations through our field offices, our legal attaché offices overseas, our network of sources inside and outside the country, and our relationships with domestic and international law enforcement partners; and

In response to requests from international and foreign investigative bodies, providing training and other assistance to their personnel.

Domestic prosecution of serious human rights violations committed abroad is a critical way to ensure that our country doesn’t serve as a safe haven to those who commit these crimes. But even when domestic prosecutions aren’t possible, there are other avenues to pursue—such as extraditing a criminal subject to stand trial in another country, offering U.S. assistance to an international tribunal, or deporting a suspect.

A footnote to the Chuckie Taylor case: the apple apparently didn’t fall far from the tree—his father is former Liberian dictator Charles Taylor, currently standing trial for human rights crimes in an international court at The Hague.


- FBI testimony on human rights enforcement

- DOJ Human Rights/Special Prosecutions Section

News Headline

Inside Liberia with Bernard Gbayee Goah

Everyone is a genius

Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. – A Einstein

Drawing the line in Liberia

Crimes sponsored, committed, or masterminded by handful of individuals cannot be blamed upon an entire nationality. In this case, Liberians! The need for post-war justice is a step toward lasting peace, stability and prosperity for Liberia. Liberia needs a war crimes tribunal or some credible legal forum that is capable of dealing with atrocities perpetrated against defenseless men, women and children during the country's brutal war. Without justice, peace shall remain elusive and investment in Liberia will not produce the intended results. - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Men with unhealthy characters should not champion any noble cause

They pretend to advocate the cause of the people when their deeds in the dark mirror nothing else but EVIL!!
When evil and corrupt men try to champion a cause that is so noble … such cause, how noble it may be, becomes meaningless in the eyes of the people - Bernard Gbayee Goah.

If Liberia must move forward ...

If Liberia must move forward in order to claim its place as a civilized nation amongst world community of nations, come 2017 elections, Liberians must critically review the events of the past with honesty and objectivity. They must make a new commitment to seek lasting solutions. The track records of those who are presenting themselves as candidates for the position of "President of the Republic of Liberia" must be well examined. Liberians must be fair to themselves because results from the 2011 elections will determine the future of Liberia’s unborn generations to come - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's greatest problem!

While it is true that an individual may be held responsible for corruption and mismanagement of funds in government, the lack of proper system to work with may as well impede the process of ethical, managerial, and financial accountability - Bernard Gbayee Goah

What do I think should be done?

The situation in Liberia is Compound Complex and cannot be fixed unless the entire system of government is reinvented.
Liberia needs a workable but uncompromising system that will make the country an asylum free from abuse, and other forms of corruption.
Any attempt to institute the system mentioned above in the absence of rule of law is meaningless, and more detrimental to Liberia as a whole - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's Natural Resources
Besides land water and few other resources, most of Liberia’s dependable natural resources are not infinite, they are finite and therefore can be depleted.
Liberia’s gold, diamond, and other natural resources will not always be an available source of revenue generation for its people and its government. The need to invent a system in government that focuses on an alternative income generation method cannot be over emphasized at this point - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia needs a proper system
If Liberians refuse to erect a proper system in place that promotes the minimization of corruption and mismanagement of public funds by government institutions, and individuals, there will come a time when the value of the entire country will be seen as a large valueless land suited on the west coast of Africa with some polluted bodies of waters and nothing else. To have no system in place in any country is to have no respect for rule of law. To have no respect for rule of law is to believe in lawlessness. And where there is lawlessness, there is always corruption - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Solving problems in the absence of war talks

As political instability continues to increase in Africa, it has become abundantly clear that military intervention as a primary remedy to peace is not a durable solution. Such intervention only increases insecurity and massive economic hardship. An existing example which could be a valuable lesson for Liberia is Great Britain, and the US war on terror for the purpose of global security. The use of arms whether in peace keeping, occupation, or invasion as a primary means of solving problem has yield only little results. Military intervention by any country as the only solution to problem solving will result into massive military spending, economic hardship, more fear, and animosity as well as increase insecurity. The alternative is learning how to solve problems in the absence of war talks. The objective of such alternative must be to provide real sustainable human security which cannot be achieved through military arm intervention, or aggression. In order to achieve results that will make the peaceful coexistence of all mankind possible, there must be a common ground for the stories of all sides to be heard. I believe there are always three sides to every story: Their side of the story, Our side of the story, and The truthBernard Gbayee Goah


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