Switzerland: George W. Bush Cancels Visit To A Swiss Charity Gala Over Fears He Could Be Arrested On Torture Charges
The Daily Mail reports:
Former U.S. President George W. Bush has cancelled a visit to Switzerland over fears he could have been arrested on torture charges. Mr Bush was due to be the keynote speaker at a Jewish charity gala in Geneva on February 12. But pressure has been building on the Swiss government to arrest him and open a criminal investigation if he enters the country. Criminal complaints against Mr Bush alleging torture have been lodged in Geneva, court officials said. Human rights groups said they had intended to submit a 2,500-page case against him in the Swiss city tomorrow for alleged mistreatment of suspected militants at Guantanamo Bay. Left-wing groups have also called for a protest on the day of his visit, leading organisers at Keren Hayesod’s annual dinner to cancel Mr Bush’s participation on security grounds. The New York-based Human Rights Watch and International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH) said the cancellation was linked to growing moves told him accountable for the use of torture, including waterboarding. He had admitted in his memoirs and TV interviews to ordering the use of the interrogation technique which simulates drowning. Reed Brody, a lawyer for Human Rights Watch, said: ‘He’s avoiding the handcuffs.’
The action in Switzerland showed Mr Bush had reason to fear legal complaints against him if he travelled to countries that have ratified an international treaty banning torture, he said. Mr Brody is a U.S.-trained lawyer who specialises in pursuing war crimes, including Chile’s late dictator Augusto Pinochet and Chad’s ousted president Hissene Habre.
Habre has been charged by Belgium with crimes against humanity and torture and is currently exiled in Senegal. He said: ‘President Bush has admitted ordering waterboarding which everyone considers to be a form of torture under international law. ‘Under the Convention on Torture, authorities would have been obliged to open an investigation and either prosecute or extradite George Bush.’ Swiss judicial officials have said that the former president would still enjoy a certain diplomatic immunity as a former head of state. Dominique Baettig, a member of the Swiss parliament from the People’s Party, wrote to the Swiss federal government last week calling for his arrest if he came to the neutral country. In his ‘Decision Points’ memoirs, Mr Bush strongly defended the use of waterboarding as key to preventing a repeat of the September 11 attacks on the U.S. Most human rights experts consider the practice a form of torture, banned by the Convention on Torture. Switzerland and the U.S. are among 147 countries that have ratified the 1987 treaty.
Good to know that the Swiss did dare to make this move. I’m so disappointed that Canada couldn’t.
For daring to assist to an Economic Summit next week in Vancouver (Do I really need to explain myself?) And although is hasn’t happened yet, it’s not the first one he’s attended to after he left the White House, besides of giving inspirational speeches (LOL), so it was about fucking time for him to be inducted.
Rights Groups Jointly Demand That Canada Arrest George W. Bush For War Crimes
Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have issued to a joint call for Canadian authorities to arrest former president George W. Bush on war crimes charges. Duyba is scheduled to visit a British Colombia economic summit next week.
There is overwhelming evidence that Bush and other senior administration officials authorized and implemented a regime of torture and ill-treatment of hundreds of detainees in US custody,including at least two Canadian citizens. Under the Convention against Torture, Canada is obligated to prosecute individuals suspected of committing torture found in its territory if other countries have failed to do so. The Obama administration has failed to investigate allegations of involvement in torture by Bush or other senior administration officials, and none are expected.
The Vancouver Sun reports that Canada plans to ignore the demands.
“Amnesty International cherrypicks cases to publicize based on ideology. This kind of stunt helps explain why so many respected human rights advocates have abandoned Amnesty International,” Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said. Kenney noted in an email that in the past, Amnesty had not asked for Canada to bar former Cuban leader Fidel Castro, even though the rights organization itself said he had presided over “arbitrary arrests, detention, and criminal prosecution.”
Ok, wait. First of all: Was George W. Bush invited to a Economic Summit?! Are you fucking kidding me?! The guys is responsible of throwing the US (and therefore, the world’s) economy into a crisis, the worst since the Great Depression. Bush shouldn’t be doing thins kind of tours, much less give speeches (I thought he wasn’t able to articulate a full sentence). Second: Is it just now until someone was able to try to persecute him?
According to the New York Daily News, Dubya declined to join President Obama at Ground Zero today because he feels he didn’t get enough credit for taking down Osama Bin Laden.
Bush’s visit to the rubble after the 9/11 attacks was the emotional high point of his presidency, but associates say the invitation to return with his successor was a non-starter. “He doesn’t feel personally snubbed and appreciates the invitation, but Obama’s claiming all the credit and a lot of other people deserve some of it,” the source added. “Obama gave no credit whatsoever to the intelligence infrastructure the Bush administration set up that is being hailed from the left and right as setting in motion the operation that got Bin Laden. It rubbed Bush the wrong way.” Bush spokesman David Sherzer said Bush “appreciated the invite, but has chosen in his post-presidency to remain largely out of the spotlight.” Associates familiar with his thinking say Bush does not believe Obama or his handlers wanted to exploit his presence. But the tag-team idea “was for the benefit of Obama, and Obama withheld credit from people Bush believes deserved it,” a source said.
Since leaving office, Bush has maintained the presidential tradition of declining to criticize his successor.
Earlier this evening, President Obama called to inform me that American forces killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of the al Qaeda network that attacked America on September 11, 2001. I congratulated him and the men and women of our military and intelligence communities who devoted their lives to this mission. They have our everlasting gratitude. This momentous achievement marks a victory for America, for people who seek peace around the world, and for all those who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001. The fight against terror goes on, but tonight America has sent an unmistakable message: No matter how long it takes, justice will be done.
-President George W. Bush-
Remember this moment when he said the mission in Iraq was accomplished? Well, Obama just showed him how to get things done.
Do laws apply to the United States and its president as they do to other nations and men? On the weekend, Swiss officials were very nearly forced to answer that explosive question. Depending on George W. Bush’s travel schedule, Canadian officials could be put on the spot next.
In his memoirs, published late last year, and in subsequent interviews, Bush explicitly said he ordered officials to subject terrorism suspects to waterboarding and other torture techniques. The fact that he had done so wasn’t much of a surprise. There was already heaps of evidence implicating the Bush administration, up to and including the president. What was shocking was that Bush admitted it. He even seemed to boast about it. “Damn right,” he said when Matt Lauer asked whether he had ordered waterboarding.
George W. Bush, who has freely admitted to sanctioning waterboarding and other interrogation techniques on terror suspects, has cancelled a weekend speaking engagement in Geneva after a coalition of human rights groups pressed the Swiss government to do their UNCAT-sanctioned duty to “act against anyone who may have committed torture anywhere.” UNCAT stands for the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment. The convention has been signed by almost all nations, including Canada and the United States.
Photo: Protesters smear red paint on the face of a man wearing a George W. Bush mask during a protest in Toronto, May 29, 2009. (Tyler Anderson/ National Post) Check out our full visual archive.
Former President George W. Bush canceled a February 12 visit to a Jewish charity gala in Switzerland, reportedly out of fears that legal action would be taken against him for his role in authorizing torture. Human rights groups, including Human Rights Watch, the International Federation of Human Rights, and Center for Constitutional Rights, said they had intended to submit a 2,500-page case against Bush in Geneva “on behalf of two of men, Majid Khan, who remains at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and Sami al-Hajj, a former Al Jazeera cameraman who was released in May 2008.”
Duyba’s would-be hosts claim they canceled his invitation because of security concerns.
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