PRINCETON – Diamonds have an image of purity and light. They are given as a pledge of love and worn as a symbol of commitment. Yet diamonds have led to gruesome murders, as well as widespread rapes and amputations.
Charles Taylor, a former president of Liberia currently facing war crimes charges at a special court in The Hague, is alleged to have used diamonds to fund rebels in Sierra Leone’s civil war. The case against Taylor represents only one of several examples in which diamonds have facilitated widespread human rights violations.