[RAISETHEFIST] Rights groups vow to hunt Bush over torture (fwd)

J.A. Terranson measl at mfn.org
Mon Feb 7 16:05:06 PST 2011

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 7 Feb 2011 15:48:00 -0800
From: "Banuelos, Max" <max.banuelos at lausd.net>
Reply-To: raisethefist at lists.riseup.net
To: raisethefist at lists.riseup.net
Subject: [RAISETHEFIST] Rights groups vow to hunt Bush over torture

GENEVA (AFP) - Human rights groups vowed Monday to pursue George W. Bush
wherever he travels, claiming that the former US president had cancelled
a trip to Switzerland over fears that he could be probed for torture.

Bush was due to attend a fund-raising gala evening in Geneva this week,
but organisers said Saturday that he had cancelled because of the risk
of disturbances.

"The reach of the Convention Against Torture is wide -- this case is
prepared and will be waiting for him wherever he travels next," said
Katherine Gallagher, an attorney and vice-president of the Paris-based
International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)

Human rights groups pointed out that two "torture victims" were to have
filed a criminal complaint in Geneva against Bush, who was due to speak
at the gala here on February 12.

"Swiss law requires the presence of the torturer on Swiss soil before a
preliminary investigation can be opened," said the FIDH, the European
Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights and the Centre for
Constitutional Rights.

"When Bush cancelled his trip to avoid prosecution, the human rights
groups who prepared the complaints made (them) public and announced that
the Bush torture indictment would be waiting wherever he travels next,"
they added in a statement.

In his memoirs published last year, Bush claimed that use of the water
boarding technique -- which simulates drowning -- had directly prevented
terror attacks in Britain and the United States.

He also said in an interview with the British newspaper The Times it was
"damn right" that he had authorised use of the controversial method on
Al-Qaeda's 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

"Waterboarding is torture, and Bush has admitted, without any sign of
remorse, that he approved its use," said Gallagher.

"Torturers -- even if they are former presidents of the United States --
must be held to account and prosecuted. Impunity for Bush must end."

Gavin Sullivan, a lawyer at the European Centre for Constitutional and
Human Rights, added that Bush "bears ultimate responsibility for
authorizing the torture of thousands of individuals at places like
Guantanamo and secret CIA 'black sites'.

"As all states are obliged to prosecute such torturers, Bush has good
reason to be very worried," he said.

Human Rights Watch said in New York that the US authorities themselves
should be pursuing Bush.
"The US government should take the lead to investigate former US
President George W. Bush and other senior officials for authorizing
torture of terrorism suspects rather than leaving prosecutions to other
countries," the organization said.

"The US government needs to demonstrate that no official, including an
ex-president, is above the law," said Kenneth Roth, executive director
of Human Rights Watch.





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