Taylor's 50-year sentence draws mixed reactions in Liberia (+video)
Human rights groups welcomed the sentence for Liberia's former president Charles Taylor for his role in Sierra Leone civil war. Some Liberians argued he didn't get fair treatment.
Former Liberian President Charles Taylor listened today with his eyes closed as he heard the Special Court for Sierra Leone in The Hague, Netherlands, sentence him to prison for 50 years. Mr. Taylor had been convicted by the Special Court last month for crimes against humanity, and for aiding and abetting Sierra Leone's Revolutionary United Front in that country's 1991-2001 civil war.
Human rights groups such as Amnesty International and Global Witness welcomed the sentence as justice for the victims of that war. But here in Liberia's capital of Monrovia, the sentencing attracted little attention. In contrast to last month's verdict, the sentencing was not broadcast live over BBC radio, and only a few men were discussing the issue at tea shops downtown, where men meet to discuss politics.
Chris Lender, a petty trader on Ashmun Street expresses feelings of sadness when he found out that Taylor had been sentenced for 50 years and would in all likelihood spend the rest of his natural life in a British prison.
“He hasn’t been treated fairly," Mr. Lender says. "He won’t be able to see his children and his family before he dies. I want to see him back in Liberia.”