National Lawyers Guild
February 7, 2011
The National Lawyers Guild International Committee signed on to the "Letter of Denunciation" accompanying the Bush Torture Indictment created by the Center for Constitutional Rights, the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights and the International Federation for Human Rights.
Two torture victims were to file a criminal complaint with Swiss prosecutors ahead of former US President George W. Bush's visit to Geneva, Switzerland to speak at a fundraiser. On Friday, February 4, Bush canceled his plans to visit Switzerland and thus, under Swiss law, the complaints could not be filed.
Swiss law requires the presence of the torturer on Swiss soil before a preliminary investigation can be opened. When Bush canceled his trip to avoid prosecution, the human rights groups who prepared the complaints made it public and announced that the Bush Torture Indictment would be waiting wherever he travels next. The Indictment serves as the basis on which to prepare country-specific, plaintiff-specific indictments, with additional evidence and updated information. According to international law experts at the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and the Berlin-based European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), former presidents do not enjoy special immunity under the Convention Against Torture (CAT).
Over 60 international human rights groups signed on to the Letter of Denunciation. More information is available at CCR's website.
February 7, 2011
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"Your interest and support has been a great encouragement to us at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission."
-- Desmond Tutu on the Guild's work in South Africa