Friday, October 21, 2011

Lawyers 'indict' George W. Bush for torture

Surrey, British Columbia - A joint committee of Canadian and American lawyers representing survivors of American rendition to overseas prisons and confinement of suspected terrorists at Guantanamo Bay leveled an indictment for torture against President George W. Bush yesterday.

Canadian law enforcement officials responded with “resounding silence,” according to the self-appointed special prosecutors.

Mr. Bush, who attended the second round of trade talks between the European Union and Canada at Surrey, is accused of violations of the Convention Against Torture, an international treaty which Canada has ratified and incorporated into its domestic penal code.

“The United States has refused to prosecute Mr. Bush or other top officials, so other countries must uphold their own legal obligations to act,” said Matt Eisenbrandt, legal coordinator for the Canadian Centre for International Justice, and Katherine Gallagher, senior staff attorney for the Center for Constitutional Rights, in an article that appears today in “Embassy” Magazine, a Canadian publication.

In a 69-page draft indictment, the attorneys cite evidence contained in 4,000 pages of information that allege a “multi-faceted torture program.”

They charge Mr. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney with “holding detainees in secret CIA sites around the globe, extraordinary rendition, and the torture of detainees at Guantánamo Bay.”

The indictment is based on “Mr. Bush’s own admissions about his authorization of waterboarding and other forms of torture that he and his administration euphemistically called “enhanced interrogation techniques.”

The indictment furthermore details “prolonged stress while detainees were forced to stand with their arms shackled above their heads; using collars to bang detainees’ heads and bodies against a wall; beating; kicking; confinement in boxes; forced nudity for periods ranging from several weeks to several months; sleep deprivation through use of forced stress positions, cold water and loud noise; exposure to cold temperatures; prolonged shackling and threats of ill-treatment to detainees’ families.”

The Canadian Attorney General offered no response to the indictment.

“Under Canadian law, the government has both the right and the obligation to hold a torturer on its soil accountable. If the government were following its own laws, it would have supported the survivors by issuing an arrest warrant upon Mr. Bush’s arrival in Canada...

“There was nothing but resounding silence from the attorney general,” the attorneys wrote in the “Embassy” Magazine article.

No comments:

Post a Comment