Amnesty Int’l calls on African nations to arrest George Bush for authorizing torture

You have to make these calls for the voices to be heard. And I do hope Bush II lives a long time, long enough to see his name in The Hague as his wheelchair moves him about his palatial cabin, Charles Foster Kane–like, muttering.

Think Progress:

President Bush “received a warm welcome” after he arrived in Tanzania today, his first stop on a philanthropic tour of Africa. But the human rights group Amnesty International is calling for his arrest.

The Amnesty International statement includes this (my emphasis):

International law requires that there be no safe haven for those responsible for torture; Ethiopia, Tanzania and Zambia must seize this opportunity to fulfill their obligations and end the impunity George W. Bush has so far enjoyed[.] …

Amnesty International recognizes the value of raising awareness about cervical and breast cancer in Africa, the stated aim of the visit, but this cannot lessen the damage to the fight against torture caused by allowing someone who has admitted to authorizing water-boarding to travel without facing the consequences prescribed by law[.]

Talk about calling people out. They won’t, of course, but at some point someone will.

About those obligations: Any signatory to the Geneva Conventions, specifically, the Convention Against Torture (CAT), is required to prosecute torture and to assist in torture prosecutions:

The CAT requires states to make torture illegal and provide appropriate punishment for those who commit torture. It requires states to assert jurisdiction when torture is committed within their jurisdiction, either investigate and prosecute themselves, or upon proper request extradite suspects to face trial before another competent court. It also requires states to cooperate with any civil proceedings against accused torturers.

There is also an obligation to investigate torture in another country if that other country declines to investigate itself (it’s all through Scott Horton’s writings, though I can’t find a link for it at the moment). This is the obligation that Amnesty Int’l refers to.

President Obama has clearly declined to investigate torture, which is why places like Spain have taken up the torch.

More please…


Gaius Publius is a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States.

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