Wednesday, February 27, 2008

EoM Roundup Feb 2008: Black History in Europe & Taylor in The Hague

I have been intending to publish end of the month roundups at Jewels since last month, and now that there are only a few days left in February I’d say it’s about time that I get started. For those loyal and avid readers (about 3-4 people worldwide) who are wondering what happened to the planned Black and African History in Europe group project for 2008, have no fear as the project is going well and we are definitely on track and behind schedule.

A big problem that we have at the moment is information. There is plenty of great information available about this complex subject and key members of our project team are busy going over research papers, monographs, joint studies, conference reports, dissertations, and searching entire online libraries. Our online collaboration workspace is crammed with digital files, links to online resources, and discussions about the history of Africans in Europe, the Americas, and the
Atlantic World.

Fortunately we have people on board this year that have lots of enthusiasm for history and literature, anthropology and archaeology, social science and the humanities. We all are working very hard to ‘get it right’ out of the blocks, using information and ideas from some of the world’s leading historians as well as experts from other academic disciplines. No cherry picking along the slippery slopes of world history for this team, as we seek truth and accuracy in recorded human history___ which admittedly is in very short supply and damn hard to find.

I promise our readers that you will enjoy what we have dug up from the past and have new information to debate and condemn, so just bare with us for awhile longer. I’ll have more about our progress with the Black History in Europe project next week.

Jewels in the Jungle February 2008 EoM Roundup Nr. 1

The Trial of Charles G. Taylor at the UN Special Court for Sierra Leone in The Hague (Netherlands)

Speaking of history, let’s talk about one of the most important trials of the decade. What’s up with former Liberian president Charles Taylor’s $100,000.00 a month holiday at The Hague (Netherlands)? Have you been following the trial proceedings in the press and on radio and TV? Here is the latest news roundup on the Diamond-studded Devil in the Dock:

BBC News – TV Programmes – This World on BBC 2 (
Emmy Award 2007 winner)
Africa’s Test for International Justice by Olenka Frenkiel, 02/26/08
This World:
Diamonds and Justice (aired Feb 26 on BBC 2)
Missed the program?
Watch now online (available until next scheduled program)

Excerpt from the BBC News article:

Charles Taylor's trial for alleged war crimes at the Hague is a test for international justice. Will it bring accountability to the continent of Africa or will it be seen as a new colonialism in what some Africans regard as "a white man's court"?

"A small unit of boy soldiers brought another small boy, crying and screaming. They put his right arm on a log, took a machete, and amputated it at the wrist," says the man in the witness box.

"The boy was shouting: 'What have I done that you are doing this to me?'

"They took the left arm again and put it on the same log and sliced it off. He was still screaming and shouting. They took the left leg and put it on the same log and cut it off at the ankle.

"At last they took the right leg and put it on the same log and cut it off with the machete. They were swinging the boy. They threw him into a toilet pit. I was there. I saw it myself."

Pastor Teh, a small man with broken teeth is describing his capture by RUF rebels during the war in Sierra Leone.

He speaks in Creole while, from a booth, an invisible voice translates.

He is one of hundreds of witnesses being flown to The Hague to testify in the Charles Taylor trial.

The defendant, quiet and dapper in a dark suit, sits in the dock day after day, taking notes.

End excerpt_____
Read more at the BBC website.

The Independent (UK)
The Diamond Heist That’s Mass Murder by Johann Hari, 02/25/08

Excerpt from The Independent article:

Almost unnoticed in the rich world, a trial for Crimes Against Humanity is taking place in the Hague. From a shiny modern courthouse, a medieval story is emerging – one where the poorest people in the world were invaded, raped and mutilated, just to seize some shiny stones for the richest people in the world to wear. The evidence and testimony at the trial of the former Liberian dictator Charles Taylor over the past few months has stretched beyond the court's tight remit to determine his own personal cruelty. Instead, the witnesses are finally revealing the inside story of the biggest diamond heist in history – one that killed 75,000 innocent people, crippled an entire country, and left a trail of blood that runs right to your local jewellery store.

End excerpt______
The Independent – Commentators section

Related news, opinions, and additional resources

Opens Society Justice Initiative / International Senior Lawyers Project
The Trial of Charles Taylor (live blogging the trial proceedings in The Hague)

UN Special Court for Sierra Leone
The Prosecutor vs. Charles Ghankay Taylor
(See live video streaming of the trial at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, MP3 video and audio file downloads, transcripts, documents, and other resources)

International Criminal Court in The Hague (English site)
Trial of Charles G. Taylor – Live video coverage and press kits (English, French)
Live streaming video: Channel 1 (
Live streaming video: Channel 2 (

Trial Watch (Switzerland) – TRIAL Track Impunity Always
Introducing TRIAL
Trial Watch: Charles Taylor (also see related trials)

The Jurist - Forum (University of Pittsburgh School of Law)
Jurist Archives: Charles Taylor
Jurist Archives: Special Court for Sierra Leone
An Empty Chair at The Hague: Trying Charles Taylor by David Crane*, 06/08/07
(*David Crane is the former Chief Prosecutor for the UN Special Court for Sierra Leone 2002-2005. He is a professor at Syracuse University College of Law.)

Impunity Watch (Syracuse University College of Law)
Update on Charles Taylor Trial, Feb 23, 2008
Impunity Watch blog – Africa news
What Is Impunity Watch?*
“Had I Only Known…” Introducing Impunity Watch, (The Jurist, 10/11/07)
David M. Crane, the founder of Impunity Watch, is a professor of law at Syracuse University and a former founding Chief Prosecutor for the UN Special Court for Sierra Leone (2002-2005)

Global Policy Forum (UN Plaza, New York) – International Justice
Resources on the Special Court for Sierra Leone
The Rogues Gallery - Charles Taylor
Resources on Sierra Leone, Liberia

VOA (Voice of America news)
Former Liberian President Taylor’s Imprint Still Felt in Guinea, 02/08/08

The New York Times
Times Topics – People – Charles G. Taylor
Note: don’t miss NY Times West Africa bureau chief Lydia Polgreen’s April 2006 multimedia report about Charles Taylor titled “A Horrific Genius
Charles Taylor Trial Starts by Lauren Comiteau, 01/07/08
Snaring a Stongman by Simon Robinson, 04/02/06

Jewels in the Jungle
Liberia’s Abundant Natural Resources: A blessing and a curse, 08/24/07

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Blackgirl On Mars said...

Let's not be guilty of what we complain about: Let's not confine Black History to one month. Black history should be celebrated every day.
As usual, your entries are sobering and informative.
I'm sure you have at least 6 fans (counting me) :-)
the lab

Torrance Stephens bka All-Mi-T said...

i love history, chk me out sometimes

dang is all i can say. nice spot, hit me up one day, thsi the kind of is i write thank we free
fck boy goes to college
Will the real Lincoln – Douglass Debate please sta...

and let me know if i can rll u