Urgent Interventions

Cancelled visit of ex-President Bush to Geneva: The call for accountability stronger than ever

Cancelled visitof ex-President Bush to Geneva:

The call foraccountability stronger than ever

Geneva, 7 February 2011.

‘Thecancellation of the visit is a stark reminder that the quest for legalaccountability for the US torture policy will not simply go away’, said Eric Sottas, SecretaryGeneral of the OMCT.

‘Itshows that the legal case against George W Bush for acts of torture is just toosolid to be dismissed’ and that ‘countries around the world with an independentlegal system cannot anymore guarantee to President Bush and those responsiblefor the torture policy not to be arrested or prosecuted in the future.’

TheOMCT had sent an open letter to the Swiss authorities last week outlining theirlegal obligations to open a criminal investigation in case of the visit (seelink below).

TheOMCT voiced its surprise over press comments of Swiss Justice Ministryofficials suggesting a continuous head of state immunity for acts of torture evenafter his term of office.

‘Letus be clear, this reasoning is fundamentally flawed and does not hold legalscrutiny’, said the OMCT in a preliminary comment. It recalls a series of legalprecedents in which former head of states were charged with acts of tortureunder the UN Convention Against Torture – a position to which Switzerlandnever objected.

Linkto the OMCTletter to the Swiss President

For further information please contact:

Mr Gerald Staberock, Deputy Secretary General, OMCT, +41 22 809 49 39/+41 22 8094923

Mr Eric Sottas, Secretary General, OMCT, +41 809 4939

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