Liberia: Inside the Crummy Torture Chamber of Chuckie Taylor
What is wrong with Chuckie Taylor’s BBC interview that Jackson Zleh Towah has to speak out now? In this publication, I will assert a unique narrative and a comprehensive account inside Chuckie Taylor’s Grisly Torture Chamber. The information shared in this document is in part a patulous version of what I witnessed during the infamous April 6, 1996, fighting in the Liberian capital (Monrovia.)
I foresee now that it will be a betrayal to the Liberian state, my British Foster Parents (Colonel Brian and Dorothy Knightley), and if I neglect my patriotic duty as a Liberian citizen who witnessed foreign nationals being tortured by Chuckie Taylor in Liberia and did nothing.
I arrived in Washington 22 years ago with photographs and videos from the Liberian civil war, some of which I shared with our partners and some friendly entities. So, you will note the fundamental reason behind my absence during the Liberian Truth & Reconciliation Commission (TRC) public hearing.
The work we have done here in Washington to bring Liberian war actors to justice could not permit us as participants in the TRC process. As you may be aware sharing government information isn’t a crime, but sharing information of certain classifications when the prime suspect is at large can be unlawful. Although we may be the source of information shared with a particular government entity, it is no longer our own once it is shared with federal authorities.
There is something, in particular, that bothered me about Chuckie Taylor’s BBC interview. He interestingly asserted that no one brought complaints against him during the TRC public hearing, therefore, he is exonerated of wrongdoing during his father’s regime. I must state herein categorically as a survivor of Chuckie Taylor’s torture chamber that said evocative assertion is a farce (mockery) to the victims of war and shows no sign of regret for the crimes he committed in Liberia.
Relatively speaking, there is nothing abstruse, bizarre, or unprecedented about Chuckie Taylor’s requesting forgivingness from the Liberian people. Howbeit, Chuckie Taylor cannot be seeking forgivingness, and yet withhold the truth. I believe, he must extend his request of forgivingness to the foreign nationals he tortured during the infamous April 1996 fighting in Liberia and thereof.
Title II: “Chuckie Taylor and Invasion of The Salvation Army Headquarters”
In late March of 1996, Charles Taylor issued a startling evacuation order for residents in the Sinkor neighborhood in an ominous hint of Roosevelt Johnson’s refusal to turn himself into the “Council of State.” We remain at “The Salvation Army Headquarters” on the 17th street overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. On Friday, April 5, 1996, our neighborhood was at the center of what was yet to come. Charles Taylor dispatched his forces on the Tubman Boulevard in full combat readiness with ULIMO-J forces.
On Saturday, April 6, 1996, at 2:40 A.M, the first bomb went off from the direction of the John F. Kennedy Hospital. Before our compound on 17th Street, General Arthur Jarba (aka War-Boss) & General Joshua Milton Blayee (aka Butt-Naked) of ULIMO-J were armed with the M-60 machine gun and immediately rushed into action.
Colonel Brian Knightley contacted the American Embassy, and the staff told him that it was dangerous to send anyone into our neighborhood at that moment. The United States Embassy advised us to make our way to the nearest peacekeepers (ECOMOG) base. Four years earlier (1992), the Roman Catholic Nuns were murdered on the outskirts of Monrovia, so we were worried. We told the Salvation Army International Headquarters in London how we are trapped in our headquarters in Liberia and that they should keep us in their prayers.
We also contacted Charles Taylor directly and asked for a safe passage to the United States Embassy or the nearest peacekeepers base. Former President Charles Taylor sounded so polite on the phone and even offered to give us his men to escort us to the United States Embassy. After Colonel Knightley got off the phone with former President Charles Taylor, we saw Chuckie Taylor in a convertible vehicle and a pickup loaded with Special Operations Division (SOD), a camarilla detachment of Charles Taylor security forces breaking into our headquarters.
I quickly went into hiding while they were busy breaking the “SAFE” at headquarters on the lower floor. I could see Chuckie Taylor from my hideout with a pistol in the right hand attempting to shoot our dogs (Petra & Sheba) in our kitchen. It is not that Chuckie Taylor failed to understand what constitutes torture, but he is taking advantage of a volatile society with the foggiest denial.
Chuckie Taylor must understand when you hold people against their will, beat on 80-year-old missionaries, force and take their wedding rings & other belongings, request more money after you have emptied the safe in exchange for their freedom, it is called torture. While his men tortured my British foster parents, Chuckie Taylor and his men were looking around the compound for me and the other young man (Samuel Morgan).
When Chuckie Taylor and his men left our headquarters, my parents thought that they had taken me away for execution, little did they know that I slipped into hiding. I emerged from my hideout and immediately told Colonel and Dorothy Knightley that the light-skinned fellow was Charles Taylor’s son (Chuckie Taylor). We communicated to the commander of the Ghanaian ECOMOG detachment on the 14 street, Sinkor and he sent two “Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) to rescue us from our headquarters on the 17th Street in Sinkor.
When we arrived at the Ghanaian Contingent base on 14th street, we met Americans, British, Australians, Japanese, and other foreign nationals. Chuckie Taylor was stopped several times in an attempt to enter the base under the guise that ULIMO-J & LPC fighters were hiding among the civilians seeking refuge on the ECOMOG base.
A Ghana ECOMOG soldier who rescued us by the name of “Peter Abariga” threatened to execute Chuckie Taylor and his men if they attempted to force their way into the base. The commander on the base requested from ECOMOG headquarters additional men to help his soldiers take the foreign nationals to the United States Embassy for safety. Those were the folks you saw during the April 1996 war being evacuated from the American Embassy outside Monrovia by United States forces.
I was in the ECOMOG APC that provided cover to escort the foreign nationals to the United States Embassy in April of 1996. Peter Abariga is now retired from the Ghana Army and currently, work for the United Nation Mission in the Central Africa Republic, ask him to verify my claims. Robert Young is an official of the United States Department of the State who was stationed in Liberia, and a good friend to my foster parents (Colonel Brian and Dorothy Knightley), ask him to verify the narrow escape of the foreign nationals trapped behind rebel lines.
The Americans were right up at Mamba-point monitoring one of their own committing gross human rights violations. Such violations include “The charges of torture, conspiracy to commit torture, and conspiracy to use a firearm during the commission of a violent crime carry a maximum prison sentence of 20 years each. The charge of using a firearm during the commission of a violent crime carries a maximum sentence of life in imprisonment.”
It is interesting to note that there are many Liberians that don’t understand the nature of Chuckie Taylor’s imprisonment. He is serving 97 years for the torture of foreign nationals and Liberians alike under the United States statute (Torture Victim Protection Act) enacted into law in 1994.
Although Chuckie committed the crime of torture in Liberia, the United States Federal Government exercised universal jurisdiction in correlation to international norms. That means he violated the US law and the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment.
The corybantic attempt by quondam Liberian Charles Taylor’s loyalists to rebrand Chuckie Taylor with the sole objective to release him this early this from the United States Federal Prison is a bosky political trail. Chuckie Taylor received a fair comeuppance for the crimes against the Liberian people and foreign nationals in Liberia during his father’s regime.