On Friday, February 5, 2010, the court in the civil case against Charles Taylor, Jr. awarded a total of $22.4 million in damages to our five clients for the atrocities they endured at the hands of Taylor Jr. and the Anti-Terrorism Unit (ATU) forces under his command. Piper Hendricks, International Justice Project Director for the World Organization for Human Rights USA, states, “We are pleased that this significant award recognizes the egregious nature of the extraordinarily brutal acts our clients suffered and the lasting impact those acts have had. This award will serve as a deterrent to others who believe they could mistreat fellow humans in this manner and never be held accountable.”
The order on damages outlines the multiple forms of torture; cruel, inhuman, or degrading punishment or treatment; arbitrary arrest and prolonged detention to which the plaintiffs were subjected and recognizes the past, present and future physical and mental suffering those abuses inflicted. As the order states, “Mr. Taylor’s horrific and repeated actions, as detailed in the complaint and testified to by the plaintiffs, are a chilling example of man’s inhumanity to man, to borrow a phrase from Robert Burns. Such actions, because they were designed to strip the plaintiffs of their humanity and dignity, deserve the strongest judicial condemnation […].”
The plaintiffs in this case are represented by the World Organization for Human Rights USA, with assistance from the Carlos A. Costa Legal Clinic of Florida International University. Our next step in this matter is to enforce this judgment. This significant award can allow our clients to cover the financial burdens they face because of Taylor Jr. and offer a better chance of making the most of the lives they now lead. Any assets recovered will provide a remedy to the plaintiffs for past and ongoing medical expenses, psychological harms, lost wages, destroyed property, other damages inflicted.
For a PDF of the official press release, click here.
To read coverage from Curt Anderson of the Associated Press, read his Washington Post article here.