Charles McArther Emmanuel
Charles McArther Emmanuel (born 12 February 1978), also known as Chuckie Taylor, is the son of Charles Taylor, the former President of Liberia. Raised by his mother in Florida, US, until he was 17, Taylor Jr. travelled 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 the 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 back in the US for his role in human rights violations carried out by the ATU.
Charles McArther Emmanuel
|Other names||Charles Taylor, Jr.|
Roy M. Belfast, Jr.
|Criminal status||Imprisoned at United States Penitentiary, Lee|
|Criminal penalty||97 years|
Born on February 12, 1978, 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. He attended Maynard Evans High School. 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. Emmanuel was expelled, and according to Johnny Dwyer of The Guardian, possession of alcohol and illegal drugs was reportedly the reason. He later attended College of West Africa in Monrovia, and the principal of that school also expelled him. He had exposure to the First Liberian Civil War, spending time with Bill Horace whose unit was known for crucifixions and executions.
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 US prosecutors, when in Liberia Emmanuel headed the "Demon Forces", a paramilitary, anti-terrorism security unit for Charles Taylor.
Arrest and trialEdit
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 US citizen was prosecuted under a 1994 law that prohibits American citizens from participating in torture outside of the United States. Emmanuel was incarcerated at FDC Miami.
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." US 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 planned to appeal against 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[update], Emmanuel was serving time in a federal prison in Florida. As of 2019 he, under the name Roy M Belfast Jr (Bureau of Prisons (BOP)#76556-004), is at United States Penitentiary, Lee.
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- NPR Staff (April 4, 2015). "Florida Teen, War Criminal: The Life Of An 'American Warlord'". NPR. Retrieved June 27, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- 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.
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- "Human Rights USA".
- 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.
- "Find By Number." Federal Bureau of Prisons. Retrieved on October 12, 2017. Enter "76556-004"
- "Roy Belfast Jr., A/K/A Chuckie Taylor, Sentenced on Torture Charges." United States Department of Justice. Retrieved on March 2, 2020