Pacific Free Press & Veterans Today & Countdown & Lawyers Against War & The Canadian Press & Tucson Sentinel & Amnesty International & The Globe and Mail – 2011-10-18 11:30:17
StopWar and Allies Plan to Protest
Bush’s Visit to Canada on Oct. 20
Stop War & Pacific Free Press
SURREY (October 17, 2011) — Dear friends: War criminal George Bush is not welcome in Surrey! Former US presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton are invited speakers at the Surrey Regional Economic Development Forum, Oct. 20 at the Sheraton Guildford Hotel. The StopWar coalition, Fraser Valley Peace Council and other groups have sent this letter to Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts:
“George W. Bush is a war criminal, guilty of authorizing torture and launching an illegal war on Iraq based on lies. Bush should not be allowed a safe haven in Surrey or anywhere else in Canada. The federal government has shamefully failed in its duty to deny entry or to arrest Bush and other officials of his administration reasonably suspected of war crimes. We ask you to do the right thing and cancel Bush’s appearance.”
Amnesty International is also calling on the federal government to detain and investigate George W. Bush for war crimes. In fact, the organization says the government has “an obligation” to do it.”
Canada Must Arrest George W. Bush if he Enters Canada
Gail Davidson, Lawyers Against War (LAW)
Canadians Seek to Arrest George W. Bush Oct. 20
VANCOUVER, B.C. (September 9, 2011) â€” An upcoming planned speaking engagement in Canada by former President George W. Bush is again generating a wave of protest. Bush is reportedly scheduled to speak on October 20th at a gathering in Surrey, British Columbia hosted by Surrey Mayor Diane Watts.
But Lawyers Against the War (LAW) says the Canadian government must either bar Bush at the border because of his alleged involvement in torture and other war crimes and crimes against humanity, or order his arrest when he enters Canada both to ensure he is prosecuted here or elsewhere, and to prevent him from returning to safe haven from prosecution in the United States.
In an August 25 letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Canadian Ministers of justice, immigration, public safety and foreign affairs, the group says “there is overwhelming evidence that George W. Bush â€¦aided and abetted and counseled the torture of non-Americans at U.S. controlled prisons outside the U.S.”
The 7-page letter cites evidence of complicity in torture (and other crimes) from numerous international reports and authorities, including Bush himself: “In his 2010 memoirs, (Bush) admitted to authorizing the use of interrogation techniques that constitute torture such as water boarding.”
The letter goes on to spell out Canadaâ€™s “legal duty to deny safe haven from prosecution to anyone suspected on reasonable grounds of torture committed anywhere against any persons.” This is a duty owed not just to Canadians but to all humankind. Barring entry is the first way that Canada can comply with this legal duty.
However, once G.W. Bush enters the country, Canada must then act to ensure that George W. Bush is prosecuted for torture (and other crimes) by either prosecuting him in Canada or extraditing him to a country willing and able to prosecute. Canadaâ€™s duty to prevent Mr. Bush from having safe haven from prosecution for the many crimes that he stands reasonably accused of, would require Canada to prevent him from returning to the United States.
The August 25/11 letter is signed by Gail Davidson of LAW, and Professor Francis A. Boyle of the University of Illinois College of Law.
Professor Boyle has filed a complaint with the International Criminal Court (ICC) against George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, George Tenet, Condoleezza Rice, and Alberto Gonzales for extraordinary renditions, which include torture and enforced disappearances, both crimes under the Rome Statute for the ICC to which Canada is a party.
Although the US is not a party to the Rome Statute, the ICC has jurisdiction to prosecute Bush administration officials for extraordinary renditions carried out in states that are party to the Rome Statute. (See at footnote 9, page 4 of LAWâ€™s August 25th letter, the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly, Secret detentions and illegal transfers of detainees involving council of Europe member states).
Professor Boyleâ€™s ICC Complaint played a decisive role in deterring Bush from going to Switzerland in February 2011 because he feared prosecution there.
About the Author: Gail Davidson is an activist for Lawyers against the War. She can be reached via telephone at +1 738 0338 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Canada Urged to Arrest and Prosecute George W Bush During 20 October Visit
Press conference in Ottawa unveils
32-page memorandum on case against Bush
(October 12, 2011) — Amnesty International has today (12 October) urged the Canadian authorities to arrest and either prosecute or extradite former US President George W Bush for his role in torture during his expected visit to Canada on 20 October.
Last month (21 September) Amnesty submitted a memorandum to the Canadian authorities making a substantial case for the former presidentâ€™s legal responsibility for a series of human rights violations.
The violations took place during the CIA’s secret detention programme (2002-2009), and include torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading-treatment and enforced disappearances.
As president, Bush authorised the use of a number of “enhanced interrogation techniques” against detainees held in the secret CIA programme. The former president later specifically admitted to authorising the “waterboarding” of several individuals whose subjection to this torture technique has been confirmed. Detainees were subjected to waterboarding and a range of other “enhanced interrogation techniques”, including being forced to stay for hours in painful positions, and sleep deprivation.
The CIA Inspector General has found that Zayn al Abidin Muhammed Husayn (known as Abu Zubaydah) and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed were subjected, between them, to at least 266 applications of waterboarding while in detention between 2002 and 2003.
Amnestyâ€™s submission also highlights further evidence of torture and other crimes under international law committed against detainees held under US military custody in GuantÃ¡namo, Afghanistan and Iraq.
Amnesty International Americas Director Susan Lee said:
“Canada is required by its international obligations to arrest and prosecute former president Bush given his responsibility for crimes under international law including torture.
“As the US authorities have, so far, failed to bring former president Bush to justice, the international community must step in. A failure by Canada to take action during his visit would violate the UN Convention against Torture and demonstrate contempt for fundamental human rights.
“This is a crucial moment for Canada to demonstrate it is prepared to live up to its commitments and obligations with respect to human rights. Canada has been a leader in efforts to strengthen the international justice system and must now demonstrate that when it comes to accountability for human rights violations, no one and no country is above international law.”
Amnesty Int’l wants Canada to arrest George W. Bush
Group says ex-president should be investigated for war crimes
Global Post & Tucson Sentinel
(October 12, 2011) — Amnesty International says the Canadian government must arrest former U.S. president George W. Bush when he visits the country on Oct. 20.
The human rights group says Canada is obliged under both Canadian and international law to arrest Bush and investigate him for war crimes and authorizing torture in the U.S.-led war on terror, the Canadian Press reports.
Bush is scheduled to attend an economic conference in Surrey, British Columbia, on Oct. 20, along with former President Bill Clinton.
Alex Neve, secretary general of Amnesty Canada, points to Bush’s memoirs, “Decision Points,” saying that the former president admits to authorizing the use of torture against terror suspects, the CP reports.
“Canada is required by its international obligations to arrest and prosecute former president Bush given his responsibility for crimes under international law including torture,” Amnestyâ€™s Susan Lee said in a statement, Agence France-Presse reports.
“As the U.S. authorities have, so far, failed to bring former president Bush to justice, the international community must step in. A failure by Canada to take action during his visit would violate the U.N. Convention Against Torture and demonstrate contempt for fundamental human rights,” Lee said.
AFP says Bush canceled a visit to Switzerland in February after similar calls for his arrest.
Arrest Bush When He Visits B.C., Amnesty Tells Ottawa
The Canadian Press & The Globe and Mail
OTTAWA (October 12, 2011) — Amnesty International wants the federal government to arrest former U.S. president George W. Bush when he visits British Columbia next week. The human-rights group said both Canadian and international law require Ottawa to detain Mr. Bush and investigate him for war crimes and torture.
“It is incumbent upon Canadian officials to investigate, arrest and prosecute former president Bush for torture when he arrives in Canada a week tomorrow,” said Alex Neve, Amnesty Canada’s secretary-general. Mr. Bush and former president Bill Clinton are scheduled to attend an economic conference in Surrey, B.C. next week.
Mr. Neve said many will argue that arresting Mr. Bush is unrealistic because the United States is a close and powerful ally or that the crisis after 9/11 required extraordinary measures. “None of those arguments justify inaction under international law,” he said. Mr. Neve conceded that arresting a former president would likely cause tension with the United States, but “taking a principled step merits that sort of strain.”
The rights advocate said Mr. Bush admitted in his memoirs that he authorized the use of torture against terror suspects.
American authorities used a variety of torture methods, including water boarding, beatings and sleep deprivation, Mr. Neve said. The Bush administration used euphemisms such as “enhanced interrogation techniques,” but these methods constituted torture. “All of this was authorized and condoned and put in place through his own repeated decisions.”
Mr. Neve said the international arm of Amnesty sent a lengthy brief to Justice Minister Rob Nicholson outlining the government’s responsibilities under international law and urging him to act. “This is something the entire global movement stands behind,” Mr. Neve said.
Mr. Nicholson’s office did not respond to a call for comment on Amnesty’s demand.
Amnesty Tells Canada: Arrest Bush for Rights Abuse
David Ljunggren / Reuters
OTTAWA (October 13, 2011) — Amnesty International urged Canada on Wednesday to arrest former US President George W. Bush for human rights abuses when he visits the province of British Columbia later this month.
Alex Neve, head of Amnesty’s Canadian branch, said Bush had authorized the use of torture techniques such as waterboarding during his time as President, which ran from 2001 to 2009.
Canada’s Conservative government did not respond to previous calls to arrest Bush, who has made at least two trips to Canada since his second four-year term in office ended.
“George W. Bush is responsible for a wide range of human rights violations — notably torture — which constitute crimes under international law,” Neve told a news conference.
“Under both international and national law, Canadian authorities must launch a criminal investigation against the former President, arrest him … and commence a prosecution against him,” he said.
In February, rights groups said Bush canceled a visit to Switzerland because of the threat of legal action against him for alleged torture.
Bush defends the use of waterboarding — which simulates the sensation of drowning — as key to preventing a repeat of the September 11 attacks on the United States.
No one was immediately available for comment in the office of federal Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, who is responsible for the file. The US embassy in Ottawa did not return a call seeking comment.
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