By Erica Laster
Impunity Watch Reporter, North America
UNITED NATIONS – The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) released a 2,500 word indictment outlining a case against former President George W. Bush for violations of the Geneva Convention and his failure to uphold the fundamental human rights of those labeled as enemy combatants. Katherine Gallagher, an attorney for CCR stated “Torturers, even if they are former presidents of the United States, must be held to account and prosecuted.”
60 human rights groups including the CCR and the European Center for Constitutional Human Rights backed the indictment.
Amidst warnings that he would be prosecuted and possible protests, Bush canceled his travel plans, backing out of a February 12 speech to be given in Switzerland. “Waterboarding is legal because the lawyer said it was legal. I’m not a lawyer,” stated the former President during an MSNBC interview in November of 2010.
The actions of the Bush 6, a group of the former Bush administrations constitutional lawyers and authors of the legal framework Bush claimed to be operating under, are under investigation in Spain. Spanish courts have invoked their universal jurisdiction for two other cases against the former President to determine the legality of the treatment of enemy combatants at Guantanamo Bay and other “black sites” controlled by the United States around the world.
Judges practicing from Madrid to Geneva are seeking prosecution of the former President.
After freely admitting to authorizing water boarding as a means of interrogation in a book released this past November, rights groups have called for immediate legal action. Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have called for the United States to investigate all complaints against former President Bush. The known watchdogs stressed that impunity should not be tolerated.
Human Rights Watch representative Laura Pitter says “We are asking the U.S. to at least investigate the potential for prosecution. There is no reason why U.S. courts should not open up such an investigation, even if it is based solely on what Bush has already admitted publically.”
Senior politicians connected with war, internal conflict and other alleged crimes have had to be increasingly wary of traveling since the arrest of Agosto Pinochet, former Chilean Dictator in London in 1998.
For More Information Please Visit:
IPS News – No More Immunity for George W. Bush, Abroad, At Least – 7 February 2011
Guardian – George Bush Issued Travel Warning By Human Rights Organisations – 7 February 2011
Guardian – George Bush Calls Off Trip to Switzerland – 6 February 2011