George W. Bush’s plans to speak in Switzerland at a Keren Hayesod-UIA charity event on February 12th were abruptly cancelled. He was going there to speak about freedom and his time as president.
The New York based Center for Constitutional Rights said Saturday that European human rights groups had compiled a 2,500-page Convention Against Torture complaint against Bush, seeking to trigger it once he set foot onto Swiss soil.
CCR, a law firm led by New York civil rights lawyer Michael Ratner, has for years filed a series of mixed-result lawsuits against Bush administration policies, alleging civil liberties and human rights abuses in its detention, rendition and warrantless wiretapping policies.
“The message from civil society is clear,” it said in a statement. “If you’re a torturer, be careful in your travel plans. It’s a slow process for accountability, but we keep going.”
The rights group World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) this week called on Swiss authorities to open an investigation into Bush as former commander-in-chief of US forces if he sets foot on Swiss soil.
The Geneva-based OMCT on Thursday released a letter it sent to Swiss President and Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey to underline Switzerland’s obligations under domestic law and the UN Convention Against Torture.
It said that “all information suggests” that Bush “authorised, knew and acquiesced into the practices that constitute the crime of torture.”
The United States government will never hold Bush accountable for his crimes, but maybe if he’s not careful, a country with respect for international laws against torture will arrest him and hold him accountable.