Friday, 2 December 2011

Photonews: World Aids Day 2011

Photo Credit: Reuters

Report: Amnesty International Urges Arrest Of George W. Bush During Travels

George W. Bush
 “Amnesty International considers that there is enough material in the public domain even if one were to rely only upon information released by United States authorities, and by former US President George W. Bush himself to give rise to an obligation for other states he visits to investigate his alleged involvement in and responsibility for crimes under international law, including particularly torture, and to secure his presence during that investigation.

1. Acts of torture (and, it may be noted, other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and enforced disappearance) were committed against detainees held in a secret detention and interrogation program operated by the USA’s Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) between 2002 and 2009.

2. The CIA established this secret program under the authorization of then-President George W.

3. Since leaving office, former President George W. Bush has said that he authorized the use of a number of “enhanced interrogation techniques” against detainees held in the secret CIA program. The former President specifically admitted to authorizing the “water-boarding” of identified individuals, whose subjection to this torture technique has been confirmed.

4. Additionally, torture and other ill-treatment, and secret detention, by US forces occurred outside the confines of the CIA-run secret detention program, including against detainees held in military custody at the US Naval Base at Guantánamo Bay in Cuba, and in the context of armed conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

5. George W. Bush was Commander in Chief of all US armed forces at the relevant times.

6. The Administration of George W. Bush acted on the basis that he was essentially unrestrained by international or US law in determining the USA’s response to the attacks in the USA on 11 September 2001. Among other things, President Bush decided that the protections of the Geneva Conventions of 1949, including their common article 3, would not be applied to Taleban or al-Qa’ida detainees.

7. George W. Bush, as Commander in Chief at the relevant times, if he did not directly order or authorize such crimes, at least knew, or had reason to know, that US forces were about to commit or were committing such crimes and did not take all necessary and reasonable measures in his power as Commander in Chief and President to prevent their commission or, if the crimes had already been committed, ensure that all those who were alleged to be responsible for these crimes were brought to justice.

8. The USA has failed to conduct investigations capable of reaching former President George W. Bush, and all indications are that it will not do so, at least in the near future.

9. The facts summarized above, which are matters of public record, are sufficient to give rise to a mandatory obligation under international law for any state that is party to the UN Convention against Torture, should former US President George W. Bush enter that state’s territory, to:

A. Launch a criminal investigation;
B· Arrest former President Bush or otherwise secure his presence during that investigation; and C· Submit the case to its competent authorities for the purposes of prosecution if it does not extradite him to another state demonstrably able and willing to do so.

10. While there is some debate whether states that are not parties to the UN Convention against Torture have essentially the same obligations under customary international law, it is clear that such states have the power to exercise jurisdiction in such circumstances and, in Amnesty International’s submission, should do so.

11. Further, as some of the torture and other cruel inhuman or degrading treatment of detainees occurred in the context of armed conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, states to which former US President George W. Bush travels also have obligations under the 1949 Geneva Conventions and/or under customary international humanitarian law, essentially the same as those under the UN Convention against Torture”.