Charles McArther Emmanuel
|Charles McArther Emmanuel|
Boston, Massachusetts, USA
|Other names||Charles Taylor, Jr.
Roy M. Belfast, Jr.
|Parents||Charles Taylor (Father)
Bernice Emmanuel (Mother)
Charles McArther Emmanuel, also known as Chuckie Taylor (born 1977), is the son of Charles Taylor, the former President of Liberia. Raised by his mother in Florida until he was 17, Taylor Jr. traveled to Liberia in 1994 to live with his father, who in turn enrolled him in the Accra Academy, an elite boarding school in Ghana. He later attended College of West Africa in Monrovia. During his father's presidency, Emmanuel became the commander of the infamously violent Anti-Terrorist Unit (ATU), commonly known in Liberia as the "Demon Forces". He is currently serving a 97-year sentence in the United States for his role in human rights violations carried out by the ATU.
Born in 1977 in Boston, Emmanuel lived much of his life in Orlando, Florida, with his mother, Bernice Emmanuel, a college girlfriend of Taylor. Fearful of Taylor's attempting to claim custody of Emmanuel, his mother had his name legally changed to Roy Belfast, Jr., the name of her husband. His house, in a neighborhood described as "middle class," was 9 miles (14 km) away from Universal Orlando Resort. In 1994, when he was a teenager he was involved in an altercation with deputies of Orange County, Florida. Afterward, Emmanuel moved to Liberia to live with his father, who in turn enrolled him in the Accra Academy-an elite boarding school in Ghana. He was, however, later arrested by the authorities and expelled from the school, reportedly for possessing drugs and weapons. He later attended College of West Africa in Monrovia.
Initially, Emmanuel pursued a career in the timber trade before establishing and commanding the Anti-Terrorist Unit (ATU) to serve as his father's personal security force. According to U.S. prosecutors, when in Liberia Emmanuel headed the "Demon Forces," a paramilitary, anti-terrorism security unit for Charles Taylor.
Arrest and trial
In 2006, Emmanuel was placed under arrest at Miami International Airport after flying from Trinidad to Miami; he carried a passport that he received after falsifying his father's name on the application. The Domestic Security Section of the United States Department of Justice accused Emmanuel of participating in torture in Liberia. Emmanuel's trial was the first case where a U.S. citizen was prosecuted under a 1994 law that prohibits American citizens from participating in torture outside of the United States. Emmanuel has been incarcerated in a Miami prison since 2007.
Elise Keppler, a counsel for the International Justice Program of Human Rights Watch, said that the "Demon Forces" "did things like beating people to death, burying them alive, rape - the most horrible kind of war crimes." U.S. prosecutors also charged that the "Demon Forces" engaged in torture and attempted to silence critics of Charles Taylor. At Emmanuel's trial, Rufus Kpadeh, a former prisoner in Liberia, testified that Emmanuel's forces coerced prisoners into engaging in sexual acts while Emmanuel laughed. On October 30, 2008, a jury convicted Emmanuel of several counts, including one of torture, one of conspiracy to commit torture, and one of possession of a firearm while committing a violent crime. On January 8, 2009, Judge Cecilia Altonaga sentenced Taylor to 97 years in prison; he plans to appeal his conviction.
That same day, the World Organization for Human Rights USA filed a civil suit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida on behalf of five of Taylor Jr.'s victims pursuant to the Alien Tort Statute and the Torture Victims Protection Act. The plaintiffs won by default judgment on all counts and the civil trial to determine damages took place in late December 2009 and January 2010.
As of 2009, Emmanuel is serving time in a federal prison in Florida.
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- Weimar, Carrie. "Liberian torture case traces back to Orlando." St. Petersburg Times. February 6, 2007.
- Couwels, John. "Ex-Liberian president's son convicted of torture." CNN. October 30, 2008.
- Anderson, Curt (AP). Taylor's son gets 97 years in prison for torture. Fox News, 2009-01-09.
- Schechter, Anna and Dana Hughes. "Warlord Charles Taylor in the Hot Seat in The Hague." ABC News. July 14, 2009. 2. Retrieved on February 5, 2011.