Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, applauded today’s Charles Taylor appeals ruling, in which the court upheld his 50-year prison sentence.  Last year, the former Liberian President was found guilty of 11 counts of war crimes that the Special Court for Sierra Leone described as “amongst the most brutal and heinous recorded in human history.”

Royce said:  “The rule of law prevailed today.  This is welcome news for the people that long-suffered under Charles Taylor’s reign of terror.  Taylor destroyed tens of thousands of lives across Sierra Leone and Liberia.  Finally, he is behind bars, and with today’s ruling, will surely remain there for the rest of his life. War lords should take note, justice can be had.”

NOTE: Royce chaired the House Subcommittee on Africa from 1997-2006.  Under his chairmanship, the Subcommittee held several hearings focused on Liberia, Sierra Leone, Charles Taylor and the Special Court for Sierra Leone.  In 2005, Royce authored a congressional resolution, that overwhelmingly passed the House of Representatives, calling on Nigeria to send Taylor to the Special Court for Sierra Leone.  He also authored a well-timed op-ed in the New York Times, "Bring Charles Taylor to Justice."