Thursday, February 10, 2011

No More Immunity for George W. Bush – Abroad, at Least

by Kanya D’Almeida, CommonDreams.org, Feb 8, 2011
 
UNITED NATIONS – Former U.S. President George W. Bush may have mostly vanished from the headlines since January 2009, but the alleged crimes committed by his administration are not forgotten.

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The former US president’s visit would have been his first to Europe since his waterboarding disclosure in Decision Points. (Photograph: Anne McQuary/Bloomberg) On Monday, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) released the ‘Preliminary Bush Torture Indictment‘, a document outlining the core aspects of the case against Bush for torture, and his violations of the Convention Against Torture to which the United States is a signatory.

The move by the CCR, in conjunction with over 60 other human rights and legal advocacy groups, including the Berlin-based European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), coincides with the ninth anniversary of the day Bush decided that “enemy combatants” were no longer entitled to the fundamental protections granted to every human being by the Geneva Conventions.

On Monday morning, two torture victims in Geneva had been planning to file criminal complaints against the former U.S. president, who was scheduled to arrive in Switzerland on Feb. 12 to speak at an event there.

Since Swiss law requires the presence of a torturer on Swiss soil before the investigation can proceed, rights activists say this would have been the perfect opportunity to hold Switzerland to its obligations as a signatory to the Convention Against Torture and send a strong message to the ex-president that he is not eligible for special exemption under the law, even as a former head of state.

Ultimately, Bush canceled his travel plans.

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