Two human rights groups have filed a report to the United Nations Committee Against Torture alleging that the Canadian government failed in its obligation to “investigate and prosecute former President George W. Bush for torture, during his visit to Canada in the fall of 2011.” Both the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and the Canadian Centre for International Justice (CCIJ) are requesting that the committee “investigate the case and make specific recommendations to Canada regarding future compliance.”
We call upon the Committee Against Torture to take this opportunity to remind Canada—and other signatory States—of their obligation to investigate and prosecute torturers present in their territory, even when the alleged torturer is the former president of the United States,” said CCR senior staff attorney Katherine Gallagher. “Only when States comply with their obligations will the Convention Against Torture serve as an effective tool to end impunity and deter torture.
The request arises from George W. Bush’s visit to Canada in late 2011. According to Matt Eisenbrandt, legal director of CCIJ, the crux of the issue is that
the Canadian government violated its international obligations and forced these men to initiate their own legal proceedings. Those efforts were then thwarted by government officials, blocking all hopes for the survivors to get justice and allowing Mr. Bush to visit Canada with impunity.
What’s really great is that “more than 50 human rights organizations from around the world and prominent individuals signed on to a letter in support of the call for George W. Bush’s prosecution, including former UN Special Rapporteurs on Torture and Nobel Peace Prize winners.”
We know that the constant hounding does have an adverse affect on Bush’s current lifestyle.
In February 2011, the Center for Constitutional Rights and other human rights organizations attempted to initiate criminal proceedings against Bush during a private speaking engagement in Geneva, but he canceled reportedly after news of the planned prosecution came to light.
This intense pressure has to be kept up until Bush and his partners are finally held accountable for their egregious actions.