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Saturday, February 5, 2011

Bush Cancels Switzerland Visit Amid Threats Of Protest, Arrest


George W. Bush has canceled a trip to Geneva in Switzerland, allegedly because of protests against the visit and the threat of being arrested.
It writes several Swiss newspapers.
The case began when the politician Dominique Baeten from the Swiss People's Party (SVP) yesterday urged the country's Attorney General to arrest the former U.S. president for war crimes.
Shortly after the World Organisation against Torture (OMCT), with a similar appeal, and several left-wing organizations have called for demonstrations against the visit.
Additionally, human rights groups like Human Rights Watch and the International Federation of Human Rights announced that on Monday will deliver a report on 2,500 pages of court in Geneva with evidence of mistreatment of prisoners at the U.S. military base Guantanamo Bay.
Ex-president has in his memoir 'decision point', which came out in november, even acknowledged and defended that he gave the CIA permission to use torture methods like waterboarding during interrogations.
Methods which are prohibited under the Geneva Convention, which the U.S. has itself signed.
George W. Bush should have been the guest of honor at a charity dinner organized by the Jewish organization Keren Hayesod in Geneva. The Swiss newspaper writes that Keren Hayesod subsequently decided to cancel the visit because it was feared that the protests will spin out of control.
They deny, however, that the president has canceled because of fear of being prosecuted.
Protected by immunity
According to the Swiss newspaper Berner Zeitung, it would not be possible to arrest George W. Bush, as the politician Dominique Baeten and others have demanded.
'Beyond that, it would not be very wise to annoy the once powerful man in the world just at UN headquarters, the judicial situation differently than Baeten and the World Organisation against Torture think, "writes the newspaper.
They point out that former heads of state under international law are protected by immunity, so they can not be prosecuted for acts they committed in their official capacity.
Unless the U.S. itself repeals Bush's immunity, and they have - as Berner Zeitung writes - probably not going to do.



President George W. Bush has canceled an event in the famously neutral country Switzerland because of expected protests to his presence there.
Bush was supposed to give the keynote address at a Jewish group’s charity gala on Feb. 12 in Geneva.
Leftist groups had planned to protest the visit, according to news agencies. But several human rights groups had also filed criminal complaints against Bush, demanding that he be taken into custody if he stepped on Swiss soil and investigated for allegations of ordering torture.
A right-wing member of the Swiss parliament also demanded last week Bush’s arrest on war crimes allegations if he came to the country, according to Reuters.
Swiss officials countered that, as a former head of state, Bush would be protected with a level of diplomatic immunity, and Keren Hayesod, the group that had invited Bush, said the court actions against the former president did not play into the decision to go forward with the dinner without him.
It all seems rather silly to me.

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