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Taylor Leaves a Shattered Liberia

August 16, 2003

Now that ex-President Charles Taylor has left Liberia for a new home in Nigeria (Aug. 12), one question remains: What happened to the untold millions of dollars he stole from the people of Liberia? Will his replacement simply assume his place at the trough? Taylor should be prosecuted, not shuffled off to a different country. This is not justice, or progress.

Eric Bever

Costa Mesa

*

"Rape a Weapon in Liberian War" (Aug. 11) is deeply disturbing. A mother says of her 10-year-old daughter, "They raped her to death." These are words I never thought I would read, and I'm a cynic in the best of times. The rather banal tone used to describe the rapists and raped, "drugged fighters intent on taking advantage of easy prey," is also very troubling.

Females are not "easy prey." Instead, these women are endowed with certain inalienable rights under U.N. Security Council Resolution 1325, which affirms humanitarian law to protect the rights of women and girls during and after conflicts. During times of war, both declared and during civil hostilities, man's inhumanity toward woman has been well documented. At the end of the article, 20-year-old Cecelia Nyumah said, "What happened to me, I can't forget." And neither should we.

Regina F. Lark

Canoga Park

*

In the grand scheme of women's rights, particularly in developing nations, the events reported are not that surprising. What was most surprising to me, a teacher, a mother, a woman, was the full-color photograph of a 14-year-old victim of a brutal wartime rape. Can we expect The Times to publish the picture of Kobe Bryant's alleged victim next? Or does her Anglo American status protect her from such exposure? I thought that The Times protected the innocent victims of rape, especially minors. Why would you allow this poor girl's face to be exposed to the world?

The descriptions of the horrors that are occurring in Liberia were enough to disgust most readers without the color photo of a child victim. What exactly is The Times' policy on victims of rape who are minors?

Amy Love

Long Beach

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