Archive for April 28th, 2012


Charles Taylor Trial: Justice For Whom, By Whom?

Human Wrongs Watch

By Robtel Neajai Pailey, Think Africa Press* – Much has changed since the first day of Charles Taylor’s trial on June 4, 2007. That day, he failed to show up to court, calling the case against him a “farce”. 


Yesterday [26 April], he was in full view, stoic, resolute and sombre. As I sat in the public gallery of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon building at The Hague, peering at the man portrayed as the most notorious African warlord in contemporary history, Taylor’s fate was solidified by one word: “GUILTY.”

After nearly nine years in limbo, Taylor was convicted on all eleven counts of crimes against humanity, committed during Sierra Leone’s civil war from November 1996 to January 2002.

Taylor, a former president of Liberia, is the first head of state to be convicted by an international tribunal.

The UN-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone was mandated in 2002 to try those who bear the greatest responsibility for the war that destabilised much of West Africa and stunted economic and political activity in the region. Taylor’s trial is the last of these.

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Greek… Elections?

Human Wrongs Watch

By Christoph Dreier, (WSWS*) 28 April – The Greek elections on 6 May will be contested by the greatest number of parties in any vote since the end of the military dictatorship in 1974. Last week, the Supreme Court ruled that 32 of 36 registered organizations are permitted to participate. But despite the many parties on the ballot, workers have no voice in this election.

**Photo: Konstantinos Stampoulis (el:User:Geraki)

Last week, EU Commission President Barroso announced the program which the EU intends to impose on the next Greek government. This “European Initiative for Growth and Employment” requires not only additional budget cuts, but also extensive privatization, affecting such sectors as the electric power company, and the liberalization of markets.

Moreover, Barroso announced government-imposed wage cuts in the private sector of at least 15 percent by 2014.

The previous attacks on the working class, which have led to a slashing of real wages by up to 65 percent, an official youth unemployment rate of over 50 percent, and long queues at soup kitchens, were directly ordered and organised by the troika of the EU, the IMF and the European Central Bank.

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